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  •  If by "God" (4+ / 0-)

    you mean an anthropomorphic god (The Big Guy, etc.), I would have to say I'm an atheist. If by "God" you mean something more like "the non-local field of infinite possibility", then I'm an agnostic.

    I think there are intolerant atheists just as there are intolerant believers.  Both types are really having an argument with themselves, IMO.  If you know you're right, why do you have to convince other people?

    I was raised by an atheist father and an agnostic mother so I don't really have to have a dialogue in my head about it.

    The question doesn't really interest me that much.  Existence is equally absurd either way.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 11:56:21 AM PDT

    •  Well, some believers are so instructed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      houyhnhnm, Quicklund, Rebecca

      Spread the gospel throughout the world, and all that rot. In my case, I don't know, but the benefits and the case for popularizing an interest in skepticism, science and critical thinking over organized religion seem more practical.

      I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

      by tytalus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 12:22:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

        What about us "believers" who aren't like that?

        "Jesus, does President Obama start anything on time anymore? It's like being in a club and waiting for Lauryn Hill show to being."- The Rude Pundit live-whiskey blogging Obama's Big Damn Middle East Policy

        by lcj98 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 12:50:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca

          maybe someday, I will find one.

          I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

          by tytalus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 01:09:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, you have many times... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama, Quicklund

            The assumption the religious people are not capable of rational and practical thought as a ridiculous as saying that the reason why black folks can run fast is because we have extra leg muscle.

            "Jesus, does President Obama start anything on time anymore? It's like being in a club and waiting for Lauryn Hill show to being."- The Rude Pundit live-whiskey blogging Obama's Big Damn Middle East Policy

            by lcj98 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 01:31:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Now that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              implicate order, Rebecca, houyhnhnm

              is a good game of telephone.

              This went from the question

              If you know you're right, why do you have to convince other people?

              and my answer to houyhnhnm, to

              The assumption the religious people are not capable of rational and practical thought

              That's not even close to what houyhnhnm and I were talking about.  :)  Now, this in itself might have some bearing on the assumption you decry; it's not exactly a shining example of rational thought to make that kind of jump.

              But since you're interested -- I have no need to make that assumption. Believers have yet to demonstrate 'rational and practical thought' in regard to their religious beliefs. They can start with a demonstration about the underlying god-concepts anytime.

              I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

              by tytalus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 02:07:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was commenting on what you said... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Quicklund, houyhnhnm, Wee Mama
                Well, some believers are so instructed

                Spread the gospel throughout the world, and all that rot. In my case, I don't know, but the benefits and the case for popularizing an interest in skepticism, science and critical thinking over organized religion seem more practical.

                You made the assumption that "believers" aren't against skepticism, science and aren't capable of critical thinking because "some believers are so instructed to (sic) spread the gospel throughout the world..."  And when I asked what about us aren't like that, you assumed , condensendingly, that you haven't met anyone like that.  Now, unless you live and work in an area that is completely Atheistic, or if you only associate with like-minded Atheists then completely ignore everything I said in this thread.  However, I'm assuming that's not the case.  

                Futhermore, it's not a "believers" job to demostrate shit to you for one reason only: It's not any of your God damned business.  Practicing religion is a strictly a personal matter, like being an Atheist is strictly a personal matter for you.  I don't need to explain why I believe in God and if you can't or won't accept that, then that's on you.  My belief in a higher-being hasn't my ablility to be a skeptic, a scientist (which I am) and a critical thinker.  There are hundreds of millions of people on this planet who are in professions that require skeptism, science and critical thinking that practice a religion.  To honestly believe that they suffer from some diminished quality, or whatever, because they believe in a higher-being(s) is beyond foolish.

                "Jesus, does President Obama start anything on time anymore? It's like being in a club and waiting for Lauryn Hill show to being."- The Rude Pundit live-whiskey blogging Obama's Big Damn Middle East Policy

                by lcj98 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 03:47:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, but no (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rebecca, GreenPA

                  I see you've simply repeated your claims about the assumptions I supposedly make, creating this false connection between 'spreading the gospel' and 'capability for rational thought'. I understand that being a believer does not preclude rationality entirely. That is why I have to repeat things like what you saw above, and ignored:

                  Believers have yet to demonstrate 'rational and practical thought' in regard to their religious beliefs.

                  I am fine with playing this game of repetition until either what I said sinks in, or you get tired of playing.

                  If you don't like the fact that rationality in regard to religion is undemonstrated, feel free to fix that. If you feel that it's none of my business, then that's fine too -- I will consider the point conceded. What you will not get away with is making baseless, evidence-free claims like:

                  My belief in a higher-being hasn't my ablility to be a skeptic, a scientist (which I am) and a critical thinker.

                  There may be a missing word there; perhaps 'compromised' would fit.

                  For believers, there seems to be a portion of their lives where rationality need not apply. It may be well partitioned off, or it may be intruding into other areas of their lives. The response of vulgar stonewalling is hardly a demonstration of skepticism, science and critical thinking.  :)

                  I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

                  by tytalus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 04:08:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ... (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    Julie Waters

                    I have a friend at work who takes two weeks off in fall to go to Central America and help install water pumps in villages for the Mormon Church.  He going to be doing that for his honeymoon this year.  Is that a good demostration of rational and practical thought in regard to their religious beliefs?  I have another friend who left a very lucrative position at a law firm to join the priesthood because of the pro bono cases he does.  Is that a good demostration of rational and practical thought in regard to their religious beliefs?  I can go with this but I have the feeling that it's not going to be good enough because it won't ever fit your narrative on how "believers" truly are.  However, if you truly are interested in wanting to know why we "believers" are the way we are, then go to a local church and talk to priest or a pastor or memebers of the congregation.  If you truly interested this then find the nearest convent or monestarty and ask questions.  You can easily satisfy your curiosity but you won't because it will go against your prejusticed view of "believers".  Because it's too easy for you to be an anonymous asshole poking at your keyboard, pontificating how Atheists aren't bigots but just skeptics who think critically, or some bullshit like that.  

                    You're not smarter, more enlightened, or have a better grasp on reality than I do.  You're just a worthless anonymous fucktard who thinks they are...  Well, I've wasted enough time in this stupidity.

                    "Jesus, does President Obama start anything on time anymore? It's like being in a club and waiting for Lauryn Hill show to being."- The Rude Pundit live-whiskey blogging Obama's Big Damn Middle East Policy

                    by lcj98 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:24:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Okat, I'm what you would refer to as a "believer" (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      houyhnhnm

                      "believe" it or not, I tipped and rec'd this diary. There are things that I disagree with here, but very few in the diary itself. I try to be as skeptical as I can about my entire perception of reality, both inside and outside, including my personal veiws on the purpose of the universe. On skepticism being valuable always to all peoples, I thought the diarist made some very good points.

                      On the points with which I disagree with the diarist I have chosen not to comment other than this comment here.

                      There are things up-thread on which I agree with you.

                      But these....

                      Because it's too easy for you to be an anonymous asshole poking at your keyboard
                       
                      You're just a worthless anonymous fucktard who thinks they are...  

                      ...are what earned you the first HR i've ever given, congratufrackinlations!

                      Wakeful people make better democracy

                      by Hammerhand on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:58:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  The answer, for the record (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rebecca

                      Do people engage in volunteer work because they think their gods are real?

                      Then, no. Not a demonstration of rational thought re: religion. But I'd like to think there's a little more to it than that.

                      Anyway, well played on the ad hominem. Your surrender, via self-destructed credibility, is noted.

                      I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

                      by tytalus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 06:03:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Who needs to go so far out of their way? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tytalus
                      However, if you truly are interested in wanting to know why we "believers" are the way we are, then go to a local church and talk to priest or a pastor or memebers of the congregation.

                      Most atheists were believers at one time.
                      Most atheists have family who are believers.
                      Most atheists work with believers.
                      Most atheists have friends who are believers.
                      Most atheists have neighbors who are believers.

                      You don't like what you are hearing from atheists?  Guess what?  It's reciprocal.  Quite a few atheists are sick and tired of what they not only hear from theists but also what they make into law based on their religious beliefs.  We can't get away from it because as I point out above most people around us are theists and aren't shy about it.  

                      Many atheists are the only one atheist in their social circle.  (Probably not but worry about what will happen if they "come out" as an atheist keeps many from speaking out.)

                      It's hard to have sympathy for theists who get upset over a few atheists speaking out and saying things that are perceived as offensive, when IRL theists speak and act without concern for the feelings or lives of the few atheists in their midst.

                      Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. Thomas Paine

                      by Rebecca on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 06:06:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "Theists" and "believers" are not homogeneous (0+ / 0-)

                        groups. There have been more than a few times when it's been frustrating to be told what I believe, based on what the beliefs of an atheist's former group were. Understandably an atheist disagrees with the group that they chose to leave. I would just like to see a little more awareness that that particular group may not adequately represent the spectrum of believers.

                        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                        by Wee Mama on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 09:35:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Which group is that? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          tytalus

                          There is no group that adequately represents any spectrum of believers.  It doesn't matter what we say or how sensitively we put it we are still accused of not understanding.

                          If you read the diary you will see that taking criticism personally is not reserved to atheist criticism of theism.  I can assure you we find this phenomena just as frustrating as you do.

                          I hate straight people who can't listen to queer anger without saying "hey, all straight people aren't like that. I'm straight too, you know," as if their egos don't get enough stroking or protection in this arrogant, heterosexist world. Why must we take care of them, in the midst of our just anger brought on by their ** up society?! Why add the reassurance of "Of course, I don't mean you. You don't act that way." Let them figure out for themselves whether they deserve to be included in our anger.

                          Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. Thomas Paine

                          by Rebecca on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:08:12 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I think sweeping statements in general are (0+ / 0-)

                            unproductive. I can listen with sympathy to a woman who says, "My ex-husband is a jerk, and here's what he did to me." It's harder to find meaningful content to the statement, "All men are jerks," because I know that that is not true. It's not helpful for me to point out that it's not true but there is also not much else for me to say in response to it.

                            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                            by Wee Mama on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:44:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Why should they? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wee Mama
                Believers have yet to demonstrate 'rational and practical thought' in regard to their religious beliefs.

                Who cares what their religious beliefs are if they can find a way to integrate a belief in the supernatural with an otherwise liberal and scientific worldview?  Who knows the secrets of the human heart?

                Science is completely outside of the domain of theology.  It takes no stance on the existence  or non-existence of g*d.

                Light is seen through a small hole.

                by houyhnhnm on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 06:41:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They should demonstrate it, if... (0+ / 0-)

                  they claim it to be so. If not, then sure. I wouldn't care.

                  Just as, when they make religious claims that touch on reality, like 'god created the universe' or 'god heals the sick' or 'god visited the planet ~2000 years ago'. Some of these claims can actually be evaluated. It's why we have evolution rather than creationism taught in schools, mostly.

                  Believers in mere divine watchmakers make no claims of interest and have nothing to prove, nothing they can or need to prove, really. So believers making claims about reality is optional. Nobody makes them do it.

                  I'm finding a lot of things funny lately. But I don't think they are. -- Ripley

                  by tytalus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 07:11:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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