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Theme Changer

 Topic: A few words...

 (Read 3277 times)
  • 1« Previous thread | Next thread »
  • A few words...
     OP - January 09, 2014, 02:18 AM

    'When the worry for humanity becomes draining, when you feel helpless; 'no matter what, they will never believe; Flashback to Ramadan, making dua for mankind; when the suffering of the world was too much to bear and the promise of Hell was like a boulder of despair being dropped in an already bottomless pit...hmph, it seems silly now, when I saw what God couldn't. That the majority of us humans are just products of our environments, and that religion is just another aspect of that environment. Dostoevsky said it himself; 'the second half of a man's life is spent acting out the habits he learnt in the first'. And just like that I could see through humanity, I found it easy to forgive for the sake of forgiving..for you see, there are many different crimes humanity may be guilty of, but this 'crime' of disbelief is not one of them, and in that instance I realised...I was more benevolent than God.'
  • A few words...
     Reply #1 - January 09, 2014, 03:08 AM

     parrot
    Dostoevsky. You will be happy here, I think. Welcome. It is a shocker when you get to that point, isn't it? I am glad you got out of it.


    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • A few words...
     Reply #2 - January 15, 2014, 10:44 PM

    Welcome to the forum dance.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • A few words...
     Reply #3 - January 15, 2014, 10:51 PM

    Howdy.  The more the merrier! parrot
  • A few words...
     Reply #4 - January 15, 2014, 10:56 PM

    Welcome FinalForesight  parrot
  • A few words...
     Reply #5 - January 15, 2014, 11:13 PM

    Welcome to the forum.   bunny

    "Befriend them not, Oh murtads, and give them neither parrot nor bunny."  - happymurtad's advice on trolls.
  • A few words...
     Reply #6 - January 16, 2014, 12:36 AM

    hi Smiley

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • A few words...
     Reply #7 - January 16, 2014, 02:38 AM

    Welcome! bunny

    turnipovich
  • A few words...
     Reply #8 - January 27, 2014, 09:08 PM

    Hello everybody and thank you for welcoming me. I have been lurking on these forums for a couple of months prior to me joining and have enjoyed some thoughtful threads and responses.
  • A few words...
     Reply #9 - January 27, 2014, 09:14 PM

    parrot
    Dostoevsky. You will be happy here, I think. Welcome. It is a shocker when you get to that point, isn't it? I am glad you got out of it.




    Apologies for the double post. I had been at that point for a while but as you are aware, thoughts drift to and fro the forefront of your conscious attention, and it's only through properly examining why you feel or think a certain way that you can realise the truth. I am also glad, as I hope many others will be able to escape religion. Even though it is not always the religion itself that is inherently evil, but what man is capable of when wielding it as a tool of justification, for who or what can be a greater justification than God himself?
  • A few words...
     Reply #10 - January 27, 2014, 10:08 PM

    Your final words sum up so much.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • A few words...
     Reply #11 - January 28, 2014, 08:34 AM

    Hi there and welcome Smiley

    Welcome parrot - and it is not a Norwegian Blue parrot

    Tell us more Smiley Where are you from? What is you background? What is your hope for your/everyone else's future?

    Welcome again Smiley
    Nikolaj

    Danish Never-Moose adopted by the kind people on the CEMB-forum
    Ex-Muslim chat (Unaffliated with CEMB). Safari users: Use "#ex-muslims" as the channel name. CEMB chat thread.
  • A few words...
     Reply #12 - January 28, 2014, 03:43 PM

    I am from Somalia but reside in the UK, I am in my twenties. Well for a time now I have been interested in the idea of a Utopia, and obviously being a practicing Muslim I was under the illusion that a functioning Islamic state would be the epitome of a Utopia, as are many Muslims today. I began formulating my ideas about the superiority of the Islamic doctrine and its usefulness to society as a pragmatic way of life and mankind as a whole, and putting these ideas into words. However this work was put on hold as I had exams. The concept of Hell had been on my mind for a while now and as I said before it was drifting to and fro my conscious attention, until there came a point where it was sustained there long enough for it to become mentally unbearable, to the point where it became apparent that this idea could not possibly be true. This logical inconsistency of an infinite punishment for a finite 'crime', along with many others made it clear that the Islamic doctrine as it were could not possibly have a basis in reality. As my previous, say, contentions, were of a logical nature and regarding the idea of God, Heaven and Hell as a whole, I sought to research the exclusively Islamic material. As I was not unfamiliar with debating religion and Islamic apologetic material, I already had a long list of issues on which I had, previously, taken the apologist's side. I'm sure we are all familiar with this; we read some point being made somewhere about the Islamic doctrine and then we proceed to scour the internet for some sort of response and immediately deem it to be sufficient by utilising our confirmation bias, when in most cases the response is poor. At this stage I had no attachment to Islam and so it was easy for me to see how flawed it all was and the futility of the many justifications apologists tried to push. Now I still have hopes of defining some sort of Utopia, as the pain and suffering I see around me picks away at my brain on a daily basis, all the evil and corruption that corrodes our sense of humanity. What I used to pray for God to change, I am attempting to change with my own hand, or pen. It does amuse me though, how we can pray so fervently for things to change, to the one who is ultimately responsible for their state in the first place.
  • A few words...
     Reply #13 - January 29, 2014, 12:08 AM

    Welcome

    I really loved your intro  Afro
  • A few words...
     Reply #14 - January 29, 2014, 12:30 AM

    Thank you Asiya
  • A few words...
     Reply #15 - January 29, 2014, 12:48 AM

    Even though it is not always the religion itself that is inherently evil, but what man is capable of when wielding it as a tool of justification, for who or what can be a greater justification than God himself?


    Religious justification is a superiority complex as much as it is a bludgeon, for certain.
    But most religion now seems to me to be evil. I have yet to find one that does not require a blind faith, or outright lies.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • A few words...
     Reply #16 - January 29, 2014, 01:13 AM

    It can be for certain personality types, say, narcissistic. I think that it is a complex issue. If we take a pragmatic view; it can be very comforting for someone on their deathbed to have an image of the kingdom of Heaven, however on the flipside you also have the abhorrent concept of Hell. But it's clear the very idea of utilising the concept of an infallible being is dangerous in itself.
  • A few words...
     Reply #17 - January 29, 2014, 02:41 AM

    I never noticed it until I thought about teaching honesty to my children. Now I cannot reconcile it at all.
    It seems like a big, socially condoned fantastic lie. The sort of thing that damages children, but everyone does it because, well, everyone does it.
    Like teaching children that gender stereotypical careers are all they can hope for.
    It makes you feel faintly ill, to think of it on such a scale. A mass delusion.


    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • A few words...
     Reply #18 - January 29, 2014, 02:57 AM

    It depends whether we put a value on truth itself or not, some of us do, while others analyse the positive and negative effects of what is being proposed and assign value that way and the question of whether it's true or not becomes irrelevant. I think while logic and rationality destroys religion on the former basis, history itself destroys religion on the latter basis. Religion or religious belief, in my opinion, has been and continues to be a perpetual source of strife. One could argue that if man were not fighting for the sake of God, he would be fighting for the sake of something else, but as Blaise Pascal said ''Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”.
  • A few words...
     Reply #19 - January 29, 2014, 03:25 AM

    Watching my children wrestle with the concept is sometimes painful. They are surrounded by myth, and all they really want to know is what is real. They just want to understand how things work.
    Throwing all this mysterious mythology into their fledgling logic skills trips them and slows them down.
    I cannot see the value of it, from the individual viewpoint. If I have to admit a value, then it seems the human intellect cannot function unless the world is somewhat obscured by faith or superstition. Believing something that cannot be proved is more comforting than not knowing everything, it seems. Do we really require that there be some being out there, that is omnipotent, in order to feel safe? Is reality too raw for the majority of humankind? Are most of us simply incapable of living without this veil that softens and narrows our view of the world? It must be so.
    Because you are right. Religion is destroyed again and again, by logic and history, and still it persists or is born anew.
    It is more than a tool, as we mentioned before, when on the individual level. More than just a means of grouping ourselves or justifying ourselves. Somehow it must satisfy, personally.
    It is a garment worn everywhere, in every time. My children are stumbling in it, and I am trying to get it off of them, painlessly, so they can move forward unencumbered.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • A few words...
     Reply #20 - January 29, 2014, 03:55 AM

    In one sense, perhaps we are predisposed to superstitious beliefs because we feel there must be something more out there than just what we can see and touch, there must be something higher. After all, our own minds present us with all the evidence we need of something which seems immaterial, we are so intimately aware of the nuances of our consciousness and its non-corporeal nature that we are certain this is some mark or proof that there exists another sort of substance, that angels and demons could be made from, created by some ultimate being.

    Human beings are very good at practicing selective logic and rationality, we can utilise our critical thinking in every aspect of our lives apart from when it comes to religion.

    The price we pay isn't as great as the relief we feel when we have a sense of purpose, whether or not that purpose be false. As you say, religion must satisfy personally. However I am increasingly finding religious explanations for the meaning of life have very little explanatory power. Could it be that the explanation itself need not be sound or reasonable, but that it must simply exist. That no matter the nature of our purpose, all that matters is that we must have a purpose. The reality of the human predicament is too great for some minds to bear; to look upwards at the stars and the planets and to look inwards at our souls, one cannot help but get the feeling that there must be something more, that this couldn't have all come about by chance, so we hold on to whatever purpose is given to us, and once this purpose is stripped away it can have devastating effects on the human mind. There are many uses of religion and in a way, the fact that it is so useful shows us its falsity.
  • A few words...
     Reply #21 - January 29, 2014, 04:19 AM

    I agree, and I think you are right on all counts. The explanation must just simply exist, the usefulness of the lie, it's prevalence, and our dependence upon it, gives it away for what it is.
    It is a predisposition. Harmful, or helpful, for children to have this fantasy belief? I do not know, perhaps it depends on the individual and the needs of their developing psyche. I suppose if they embrace the concept, when faced with options, they then need it. I will not dissuade them, then, if they do claim belief, I will just attempt to hone their sense of ethics, that they might avoid the pitfalls and traps of religion and its tendency to marginalize populations outside of its own particular sphere.
    I didn't consider the viewpoint that if consciousness is within us through no manipulation of our own, it therefore could belong to another being, in some sort of logic. And then, as it is so wondrous, so magical, it must be from a magical creator source who shares it to a greater extent, a perfection. A sort of proof, to some, I would suppose.
    Good points.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • A few words...
     Reply #22 - January 29, 2014, 04:30 AM

    It has been enjoyable, having this discussion with you. It is therapeutic to put your thoughts into words, as a result they become more coherent in your mind. Unfortunately though, it is very late here, so I am off to bed.
  • A few words...
     Reply #23 - January 29, 2014, 04:35 AM

    When you don't understand illness or disease, demons and spirits seem to be a good answer. I was watching a series called Vikings a while ago which you've just reminded me of. The Vikings went to England and found a monastery, which they raided and killed all the monks except for one, who they brought back as a slave. In one episode a character is explaining how Odin, the All Father, created the world. The monk, being a christian, protested. The Viking looked at him and said "Well how do you think the world came to be?" and the monk didn't say anything. It made me chuckle when I watched it, arguing over which god it was. But there's a point to it. When you don't know how something happened, it's very easy to accept that which makes sense to you.

    Running with your comment, I'm not sure we are predisposed. Those who don't teach their children religion don't seem to have this, which in the UK and Europe as a whole is easy to see considering we aren't the most religious bunch. What I see over and over with my non religious/atheist friends and family once they have children is that their children have no concept of god until they have someone teach it to them, usually in school. I would be quite curious to find out what the trend would be if there were a group of children who were raised and throughout their lives never had the concept.

    Which reminds me, something else that lends credit to us not being predisposed to supernatural belief. The Pirahã tribe in the amazon have no concept of god. There was a christian missionary named Daniel Everett, went there to try and spread the gospel and after 20 years of trying to convert them ended up becoming an atheist.

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2008/11/08/how-an-amazonian-tribe-turned-a-missionary-into-an-atheist/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirah%C3%A3_people

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2009/04/17/missionary-deconverted-by-amazon-tribe/

    http://ffrf.org/publications/freethought-today/item/13492-the-pirahae-people-who-define-happiness-without-god

    http://www.inquisitr.com/19087/amazonian-tribe-turned-a-missionary-into-an-atheist/

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • A few words...
     Reply #24 - January 29, 2014, 04:56 AM

    Welcome to the forum  parrot  bunny

    Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you.

    Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.
    - George Carlin
  • A few words...
     Reply #25 - January 29, 2014, 03:52 PM

    When you don't understand illness or disease, demons and spirits seem to be a good answer. I was watching a series called Vikings a while ago which you've just reminded me of. The Vikings went to England and found a monastery, which they raided and killed all the monks except for one, who they brought back as a slave. In one episode a character is explaining how Odin, the All Father, created the world. The monk, being a christian, protested. The Viking looked at him and said "Well how do you think the world came to be?" and the monk didn't say anything. It made me chuckle when I watched it, arguing over which god it was. But there's a point to it. When you don't know how something happened, it's very easy to accept that which makes sense to you.


    Yes, there are many reasons why we may be inclined to the notion of some sort of God, I only touched on a couple. This is the 'God of the Gaps' viewpoint, which I see being increasingly attributed to questions we may never be able to definitively answer such as how consciousness arose.

    Quote
    Running with your comment, I'm not sure we are predisposed. Those who don't teach their children religion don't seem to have this, which in the UK and Europe as a whole is easy to see considering we aren't the most religious bunch. What I see over and over with my non religious/atheist friends and family once they have children is that their children have no concept of god until they have someone teach it to them, usually in school. I would be quite curious to find out what the trend would be if there were a group of children who were raised and throughout their lives never had the concept


    However, predispositions are not always realised. It simply means we, as human beings, are susceptible to the idea of some supernatural force in the world.

    Quote
    Which reminds me, something else that lends credit to us not being predisposed to supernatural belief. The Pirahã tribe in the amazon have no concept of god. There was a christian missionary named Daniel Everett, went there to try and spread the gospel and after 20 years of trying to convert them ended up becoming an atheist.


    This doesn't necessarily mean they had absolutely no concept of the supernatural, or superstition which arises from it. When we use the term God, it is in a very broad sense, not necessarily the classical definition.
  • A few words...
     Reply #26 - January 29, 2014, 04:38 PM

    The reasons for the Piraha people being unable to even bother to understand the concept of a god or the hereafter can be read here: http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/chapter2-7.php

    I did read something on wikipedia that they apparently believe in spirits, but that they take form (such as animals and so forth), so the spirits are still within their (subjective) real life experiences. They are completely uninterested in the "unseen" like gods. So if I told the Piraha about allah (whom no one can see) they would probably just dismiss it as nonsense. And it really is nonsense. Because if an all-knowing being like allah, whom none will ever see, created a people who cannot (despite their sincere efforts!) understand such concepts... then allah is a fucking douche bag.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • A few words...
     Reply #27 - January 30, 2014, 04:02 AM

    It has been enjoyable, having this discussion with you. It is therapeutic to put your thoughts into words, as a result they become more coherent in your mind. Unfortunately though, it is very late here, so I am off to bed.


    Yes, thank you. This was quite helpful and enjoyable for me, as well.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • A few words...
     Reply #28 - January 31, 2014, 02:52 AM

    I agree, and I think you are right on all counts. The explanation must just simply exist, the usefulness of the lie, it's prevalence, and our dependence upon it, gives it away for what it is.
    It is a predisposition. Harmful, or helpful, for children to have this fantasy belief? I do not know, perhaps it depends on the individual and the needs of their developing psyche. I suppose if they embrace the concept, when faced with options, they then need it. I will not dissuade them, then, if they do claim belief, I will just attempt to hone their sense of ethics, that they might avoid the pitfalls and traps of religion and its tendency to marginalize populations outside of its own particular sphere.
    I didn't consider the viewpoint that if consciousness is within us through no manipulation of our own, it therefore could belong to another being, in some sort of logic. And then, as it is so wondrous, so magical, it must be from a magical creator source who shares it to a greater extent, a perfection. A sort of proof, to some, I would suppose.
    Good points.


    What I would say regarding whether children should develop this kind of belief, is that they should not. If the child comes to renounce his faith in a God for whatever reason it could have a devastating effect on the psychological state of the child whenever it occurs. As time goes on Atheism is becoming more and more common and so there are more and more people going through the process of losing faith.

    The reasons for the Piraha people being unable to even bother to understand the concept of a god or the hereafter can be read here: http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/chapter2-7.php

    I did read something on wikipedia that they apparently believe in spirits, but that they take form (such as animals and so forth), so the spirits are still within their (subjective) real life experiences. They are completely uninterested in the "unseen" like gods. So if I told the Piraha about allah (whom no one can see) they would probably just dismiss it as nonsense.


    Well the Piraha people are an exceptional group in many senses. However the main point was that the predisposition to such notions exists. These predispositions exist more in their potent sense the younger a child is. It is about nature/nurture and I would argue that the latter plays the more significant part when it comes to religious beliefs but I would not rule out nature completely.
  • A few words...
     Reply #29 - January 31, 2014, 03:18 AM

    What I would say regarding whether children should develop this kind of belief, is that they should not. If the child comes to renounce his faith in a God for whatever reason it could have a devastating effect on the psychological state of the child whenever it occurs. As time goes on Atheism is becoming more and more common and so there are more and more people going through the process of losing faith.



    I think that, so long as the child makes up their own particular belief, it will do them less harm than to force them not to have such a fantasy. If they renounce their own special belief at a later date, it would harm them less than forcing them to follow or believe something someone else has dictated to them.
    I meant that if one of my children decides that there is a god out there, I will not force another theory onto them. Having presented them with differing opinions, they may choose for themselves, and argue their side. I see it as believing in fairies. It does no good to argue every instant with a child who is convinced of the existence of fairies. Persistent belief in the unseen is a sort of comfort for a child who refuses reality, in my opinion, and arguing against it incessantly can foster a stubborn clinging to the idea. I mostly treat the issue of a god as unimportant, so that I do not bring it into focus, and establish its importance, by my very attention to the matter, in their minds.
    Now, if they try to join some sort of established religious faith, that would be another story. But that would be a long way off from now. My children cannot yet tie their shoes, so I have a lot of hope that they can see reason, yet. 

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
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