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Old 11-30-2009, 05:04 PM   #106
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For a thread that started off on such a trollish foot, its actually turned into an interesting topic I have a question for those who were born, raised, and are still practicing the same religion. And this isnt meant to be offensive. I actually regret my wording in a previous post as it was mostly reactionary and not so well thought out. I'm sorry if it upset anyone, but there is still something to it that I dont understand. If not a product of being ingrained into you at a young age, how do you justify to yourself that the religion that you just so happen to be born into is the correct one? This had nothing to do with intelligence or immaturity as I'll guess that the majority of the Nobel Prize winners, scientists, and philosophers that AEON listed fall into the same category. I dont have numbers to back it up, but I think it would be safe to assume that the majority of religious people on earth also fall into that category. How would you explain that? I'm by no means assuming that you are required to justify yourself to me or to anyone else, but out of a genuine curiosity to hear what you think, how would you?
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:10 PM   #107
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For a thread that started off on such a trollish foot, its actually turned into an interesting topic
Yeah, seriously!

As for the rest of your post, I was raised a Catholic but I am not sure if I am still Catholic. I do identify as a Christian, but I guess the best way to describe my faith one foot in religion, the other in free form spirituality.

I don't follow Jesus Christ just because I was raised to do so. It's just I've had some events in my life that pointed me in that direction. I don't want to reveal too much of my life, but that was the outcome.

Yes, I turned to Christianity partly because of my upbringing, but the results is what kept me with it. If I didn't get any results, I would've tried another religion. So, it is the results not what I was told to do that make me identify as Christian.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:28 PM   #108
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As I've written before, I was an atheist before studying philosophy in college. Once my mind was open to a generic concept of "God" - I eventually became convinced that the message of Jesus Christ made the most since in regards how this God interacts with human beings.

For me, it was a slowly evolving intellectual pursuit and not a result of upbringing or a result of hitting "rock bottom" and reaching out for a Savior (not to invalidate those paths, they are just not mine).
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:49 PM   #109
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Probably would help the discourse if people would bother to distinguish between religion and belief in God.

You can't prove or disprove the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
But you can certainly give organized religion the thorough beating it deserves.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:19 PM   #110
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As I've written before, I was an atheist before studying philosophy in college. Once my mind was open to a generic concept of "God" - I eventually became convinced that the message of Jesus Christ made the most since in regards how this God interacts with human beings.

For me, it was a slowly evolving intellectual pursuit and not a result of upbringing or a result of hitting "rock bottom" and reaching out for a Savior (not to invalidate those paths, they are just not mine).
When you were an atheist did you have a good value system, moral code?
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:29 PM   #111
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I'm much more open to the idea of God existing (I don't believe but I also wouldn't say I'm sure either) than I am to the idea of organized religion. I personally find organized religion to be generally a bad thing for people based on my observations of the actions of said religions and how it affects people.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:33 PM   #112
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You're right, it is easy to generalize, and I didn't mean to do so. I apologize if I offended anyone.

I am not offended when someone says they don't believe in God. People are going to believe whatever they believe, you can't stop that. I guess what sets me off is when I tell people I do believe in God, I literally get attacked, verbally. Some of the comments - not all, some - in this thread made me feel like I was being attacked even if I wasn't.
Not to justify it, but if you are an atheist/agnostic this kind of reaction, sometimes extremely harsh, is what you frequently get when you "out" yourself as someone not believing. It often makes you think twice if you want to reveal your own non-spirituality or rather keep quiet.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #113
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Would you seriously question the intelligence of these major contributors to science, society, and the arts?
Given that the very first person on your list is Albert Einstein, a man who explicitly denied the existence of a personal God and described the God of Judaism as a childish superstition I wouldn't put too much stock in it.

Throwing out great minds of history as exemplars of smart Christians without noting the social setting of the time is dishonest, for instance Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for heresy (an illustration of religious tolerance), and Galileo was threatened with torture and imprisoned for asserting Copernicanism. David Hume is an interesting choice as well, I suspect that the writer of On Miracles would be a new atheist if he were alive today.

You are throwing out names left right and centre, but even if you were giving an honest list this says nothing about the level of education and intelligence of the group. If you take 10,000 Christians and 10,000 disbelievers it is overwhelmingly likely that the disbelievers will be better educated on average.

I have to repeat it so many times, even if as a group disbelievers are smarter, this doesn't mean that all Christians aren't.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:30 PM   #114
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Would you consider this childish?

About common sense...
A very false comparison, QM produces very accurate predictions about empirical questions (unlike Christianity), the issue with string theories not producing any distinct predictions is a valid criticism, but it doesn't make that branch of theoretical physics religion.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:40 PM   #115
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As I've written before, I was an atheist before studying philosophy in college. Once my mind was open to a generic concept of "God" - I eventually became convinced that the message of Jesus Christ made the most since in regards how this God interacts with human beings.

For me, it was a slowly evolving intellectual pursuit and not a result of upbringing or a result of hitting "rock bottom" and reaching out for a Savior (not to invalidate those paths, they are just not mine).
Were you raised in a religious environment as a child?

How long did you consider yourself an atheist?

What justified your earlier atheism?
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:04 PM   #116
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If not a product of being ingrained into you at a young age, how do you justify to yourself that the religion that you just so happen to be born into is the correct one? This had nothing to do with intelligence or immaturity as I'll guess that the majority of the Nobel Prize winners, scientists, and philosophers that AEON listed fall into the same category. I dont have numbers to back it up, but I think it would be safe to assume that the majority of religious people on earth also fall into that category. How would you explain that? I'm by no means assuming that you are required to justify yourself to me or to anyone else, but out of a genuine curiosity to hear what you think, how would you?
This is an interesting point. My husband attended a lecture by the Dalai Lama a few weeks ago, and one of his points was that one should try to follow the religion of one's culture. For instance, Asians would be Buddhists, Americans Christian, etc, although I'm not sure if he specified like that. The point I think he was trying to make is that religion is a social and cultural function as a well as a spiritual function, and so many American Buddhists are very unclear as to the cultural aspects of Buddhism. Now, my husband has been giving this some thought, since he's a Buddhist. It's troubling him somewhat.

My adult religion is not Christianity, but I was raised in a Lutheran home. We're Norwegian by background, so Lutheranism was a given. I'm not a Christian now because that path doesn't resonate with me. I understand that it's a path, just the same as mine, but not mine.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:01 PM   #117
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When you were an atheist did you have a good value system, moral code?
Moderate. My moral code at the time was Ayn Rand's Objectivism.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:04 PM   #118
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Were you raised in a religious environment as a child?
No
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How long did you consider yourself an atheist?
About 5 to 7 years
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What justified your earlier atheism?
I thought only idiots or the desperate believed in God.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:05 PM   #119
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I find it somewhat disrespectful of the way you always seem to refer to The Lord that you believe in as a "rebel" & I am a Reluctant Atheist LOL


No, I do not think the term rebel is disrespectful.

He is the only person, I think, who has ever lived on this planet who can be called a rebel.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #120
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A very false comparison, QM produces very accurate predictions about empirical questions (unlike Christianity), the issue with string theories not producing any distinct predictions is a valid criticism, but it doesn't make that branch of theoretical physics religion.
I agree, I wouldn't compare string theory to religion. I was addressing the "unseen" and "common sense" comments. I am a follower of QM research and I believe it further demonstrates God's glory.
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