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Old 07-05-2010, 08:49 PM   #46
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Easy there, angry religious guy

c'mon, man, you responded to my post to concede that they werent angry, but frustrated. Ergo you must think that at least a large portion of them fall into that category. Its okay if you think that, I'm just giving you reasons why that might not be true. The conversations I think you're having with atheists are probably the same kind that go on in here. Ones that inevitably lead to religion's place in society, school, etc. and to where the frustration starts to show. I'm sure if you talked to the same non religious people outside of that topic, you would find the majority neither angry or frustrated
: drums fingers on table:

then. . .

:sweeps the virtual coffee cups, sugar, cream etc off the virtual table in eruption of religous rage:



I believe the word "some" is not synomous with "the majority." My position is that most people believe what they want to believe. Some are frustrated. I'm sure many are not. And why is it necessarily such a horrible thing if an atheist is angry? They have more cause to be than the believers, given that they are in the minority and are often, as you have pointed out, misunderstood and mistrusted. Finance Guy provided some pretty good reasons to be angry or frustrated.

Actually, I don't really have many conversations with atheists outside of this forum. There's my brother, but we don't generally get into issues of belief/non-belief. As for the conversations, I had if you were to take a look at the FYM archives you could see what kinds of conversations I've had. You might be surprised.

What would you predict would be my position on religions place in society, schools etc?
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:58 PM   #47
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Well, I wouldnt want to make that prediction. I'm actually not making any assumptions on your stance in particular, just that in a conversation about the grand scheme of things, those topics probably have popped up. You could even agree with the atheist point of view; I just figured many an atheist has probably bitched to you about it in conversation
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:08 PM   #48
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Well, I wouldnt want to make that prediction. I'm actually not making any assumptions on your stance in particular, just that in a conversation about the grand scheme of things, those topics probably have popped up. You could even agree with the atheist point of view; I just figured many an atheist has probably bitched to you about it in conversation
Sometimes. And I generally don't blame them.

Again, my stance is not that atheists are miserable people. My stance is that believers and non-believers alike believe what they want to believe, and to argue that one's is belief is SOLEY based on "the evidence" or "logic" or whatever, is self-serving.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:37 PM   #49
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a_wanderer, every time i come here it's pretty much the same with you. your incessant drivel against christians is a treat to read.

i want you to know... i want to affirm to you that you're doing something positive with your free time. you're making a real difference posting these things on this messageboard, a_wanderer. you're opening hearts and minds. a true inspiration to the rest of us who (most unfortunately) stumble upon here now and again.

you're clearly well-read and the wisdom you bestow on your fellow messageboard peers is cherished.

i, for one, cannot wait for your next instalment of compassionate critiquing. thanks again for doing what you do.

haha

yes, right then. if someone half as obnoxious as you existed in my real world they would need fucking aircrash investigators to put them back together.

fuckity-bye
That doesn't change how fucked up a system of thinking that can make parents disown children is.

It doesn't change the profound lack of accountability which religious institutions are held to in most societies.

It doesn't change the manipulation of the law by religious lobby groups to take away peoples rights in most countries (freedom of speech, freedom to marry and freedom to change belief).
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #50
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i'm actually convinced a_wanderer is a repressed christian.

he's fighting it long and hard... it's like he's trying to convince himself he's not.

let's just pet him on the head, leave the room, and maybe he'll come to terms with the real "a_wanderer".
You fool I'm obviously a Muslim.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:01 PM   #51
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I'm curious to know what kinds of conversations you think I'm having with atheists that bring out this frustration, though.


i'm not an atheist, i'm an agnostic. but i'll try to quickly tell you how i got there.

let's put aside organized religion. i'm really not all that upset or betrayed by the Catholic (i am a baptized and confirmed Catholic) Church's teachings. obviously, i think they're wrong, to put it mildly, but i also know that it's a human institution -- so, whatever, i think. i absolutely reject the rules of organized religion as having any sort of divine approval. certainly the 10 Commandments have lots of great suggestions, and certainly there's much that's beautiful about most of what Jesus taught, many people have made their own lives (and the lives of others) better because of these rules and the inspiration. but not me. maybe when i was a child, but no longer. i don't place any more credibility in those above and beyond my own lived-in experience.

so, rules aside, and getting to the real meat of the issue -- is there a deity, is there something beyond this, is there something within me that will continue after my body dies. that's the real issue, isn't it? that's what's at stake?

well, for me, through a combination of experience and learning more and more both intellectually and emotionally, it really does seem to me that there isn't a God. it's all so explainable -- religion -- and the big question is: why does there have to be a God? the universe could continue just fine without one. it seems entirely irrelevant to existence. we obviously don't need God to live and function. isn't it more logical that existence simply is, that it's not willed into being, that it's not designed and crafted, and that there isn't a love and logic behind it all. i think we can create all that for ourselves, and that's powerful and beautiful, but i really do think, deep down, in creeping moments, and it almost fills me with dread, that there's no there there, there's only what we put there.

let me talk about that dread. that dread, to me, feels awful, but it also feels like it's where religion comes from. that it's brutal, but yet honest, to actually face the dread -- that we are alone, that we are big bags of water on a rock floating through space, that none of this means anything *beyond what we allow it to mean* -- and process it for what it means: there is no God. it seems to me that the dread is so unbearable, that it makes you wake up in the middle of the night feeling as if you are drowning, that the thought of blankness, of nonexistence, of nothingness, is so terrifying, that religion gets us through the night, but that it is, ultimately, comfort. and it feels, i don't know, brave to stare the dread in the face and call it what it is.

that's where i am.

however, i do want there to be a God. a God could logically exist (though it seems that this position is more complex than that he doesn't, and therefore is less likely to be true). and i do find other people's experiences compelling. it's certainly not for me to tell them that what they experience isn't true, even if i can easily explain it at least in my mind. i also find it compelling the stories of being in a room when someone actually does die. i have not experienced this, but i'm told that it does feel as if something has left the room, and when you see an actual dead person, there's such a remarkable, tangible difference that it does feel as if the body is inhabited by something. but what?

so that's why i come down as an agnostic. because i can't absolutely rule it out.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:07 PM   #52
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A beautifully honest post.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:10 PM   #53
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thank you.

i am sorry for the pain your partner is feeling.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:22 PM   #54
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thank you.

i am sorry for the pain your partner is feeling.
Thank you
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #55
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on totally different note -- and not to derail the thread -- i'm going Down Under in November. i need advice via PM. clean out your Inbox!
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:26 PM   #56
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Good plan
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:22 AM   #57
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let me talk about that dread. that dread, to me, feels awful, but it also feels like it's where religion comes from. that it's brutal, but yet honest, to actually face the dread -- that we are alone, that we are big bags of water on a rock floating through space, that none of this means anything *beyond what we allow it to mean* -- and process it for what it means: there is no God. it seems to me that the dread is so unbearable, that it makes you wake up in the middle of the night feeling as if you are drowning, that the thought of blankness, of nonexistence, of nothingness, is so terrifying, that religion gets us through the night, but that it is, ultimately, comfort. and it feels, i don't know, brave to stare the dread in the face and call it what it is.
Very well put. We seem to be coming from the same place
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:11 AM   #58
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I'm a Catholic and I'm 16. This is because I was brought up this way. Chances are, if I was brought up Jewish or any other religion, I would stick to it as well. There is part of me that has doubts, and another part of me that believes, just by emotion, not logic. There's a part of me that is somewhat baffled by the traditions and actions that have come from my religion, and there is a part of me that becomes overwhelmed with humility and the sheer belief that comes over me when I pray to God. Sometimes, I feel unsure of my faith, due to the sciences that contradict Christianity, to think, Does God REALLY exist? Then, I'll recieve what may be a gift from God, or a sign, or I'll just have revelations that God is truly real, at least to me. For now, I'm sticking to Catholicism. I don't know if 10 years from now, if I will still believe, or if I will become a devout Catholic, but this is who am I NOW, and that's all that matters. The beauty of free will is that I can choose what to believe, even as the years go by.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:28 AM   #59
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let me talk about that dread. that dread, to me, feels awful, but it also feels like it's where religion comes from. that it's brutal, but yet honest, to actually face the dread -- that we are alone, that we are big bags of water on a rock floating through space, that none of this means anything *beyond what we allow it to mean* -- and process it for what it means: there is no God. it seems to me that the dread is so unbearable, that it makes you wake up in the middle of the night feeling as if you are drowning, that the thought of blankness, of nonexistence, of nothingness, is so terrifying, that religion gets us through the night, but that it is, ultimately, comfort. and it feels, i don't know, brave to stare the dread in the face and call it what it is.
I don't doubt for a second that religion can be (and has been) used to exploit fear in the populace. From my experience, however, I can't relate to the dread you're talking about -- mostly because I think that, while fear can be used to motivate people in the short term, genuine, reflective people can't be kept there. And some of the most genuine and reflective people I've met -- regardless of their denomination or religious affiliation -- have been those who have decided that there is something more there -- not out of fear, but out of genuine curiosity. It's that curiosity that fueled the discoveries of some of the world's foremost artists, scientists and mathematicians, many of whom were also deeply, profoundly religious people.

I find that artistry and spirituality have a great deal in common. I'm part of a faith community that believes that creativity is the natural result of spirituality. There is a phrase in Latin, "ex nihilo" -- out of nothing. Art is created from nothing -- the same way that, at least according to myth, the world was created. Most of the artists I know who have endured -- and whose work has endured -- have tended to create not out of terror, or even necessarily out of a desire to arrange chaos into order, or out of a desire to process personal trauma (though all those things may have something to do with it) -- but because, at their core, they had to. Created in order to create.

It makes me wonder if the impulse to create is connected to the impulse to believe. If one takes a coldly clinical approach to life, art and spirituality could be seen as two sides of the same coin -- they serve no objective, functional purpose in day to day life, they are fairly subjective and experiential by nature, and they frequently are ultimately futile attempts to make the invisible, visible. However, it may well be that art and religion give voice to the soul and fill in the canvas of the human experience.

I don't think genuine, reflective people are moved by art out of fear. Rather, they are moved because somehow, against the odds, someone created a piece of work that expressed what they felt, or experienced. I think religion -- at least, the best kinds -- serves much the same purpose. Having been a part of ecstatic worship experiences, I can say that there's little fear in the room when the Spirit's in the house -- just an ecstatic sense of wonder.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:31 AM   #60
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That doesn't change how fucked up a system of thinking that can make parents disown children is.

It doesn't change the profound lack of accountability which religious institutions are held to in most societies.

It doesn't change the manipulation of the law by religious lobby groups to take away peoples rights in most countries (freedom of speech, freedom to marry and freedom to change belief).
Long-time listener, first time caller.

I like that you express concern for peoples' basic human rights. And, on that note, your opinion of Palestinians?

I'll hang up now and listen to your answer.
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