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Old 04-23-2005, 03:30 PM   #31
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And, yet, we don't have a rash of atheists creating a large crime wave. Clearly, the host was oversimplifying the issue.

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Old 04-23-2005, 03:45 PM   #32
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I think some people are mixing up the belief in God and religion.

You can believe in God and not participate in any religion. Honestly, I agree with what Bono says aout religion. Religions stir up hate,catalyze that we judge other people, and separate us whereas God brings us together.
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Old 04-23-2005, 03:59 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
I think some people are mixing up the belief in God and religion.

You can believe in God and not participate in any religion. Honestly, I agree with what Bono says aout religion. Religions stir up hate,catalyze that we judge other people, and separate us whereas God brings us together.
That's how I feel. I'm not a fan of religion. But I do believe in God.
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Old 04-23-2005, 05:47 PM   #34
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I had to think a lot about your thread, Macfist. Although I have run into a few evangelizing athiests who try to convert you to their nonbelief, I think most athiests I've met would have no answer to the benefits of athiesm. To them, it is a nonissue. They just do not believe.
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Old 04-23-2005, 05:53 PM   #35
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Well it has not done anything for me one way or the other, and I have no problem with that.
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Old 04-23-2005, 05:57 PM   #36
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Originally posted by Miggy D
I was listening to the radio some time ago, and the host hypothesized that if there were a way that science could prove without a shadow of a doubt that God didn't exist, the very day they announced their findings would be the day masses of people started looting stores and breaking laws, because they'd have no reason not to. If it were true that there were absolutely no God, no higher being to be held accountable to, no ramifications upon death...why not be selfish?

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Because you want to work for the betterment of mankind and the preservation of society.
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Old 04-23-2005, 07:17 PM   #37
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Originally posted by BonosSaint
I had to think a lot about your thread, Macfist. Although I have run into a few evangelizing athiests who try to convert you to their nonbelief, I think most athiests I've met would have no answer to the benefits of athiesm. To them, it is a nonissue. They just do not believe.
Agreed.

Atheism (and agnosticism) isn't something one believes in order to "get" something. They aren't reward based beliefs.

But I do like being able to call myself a heathen, so maybe that's my benefit (although I'm agnostic, not atheistic).
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Old 04-23-2005, 07:23 PM   #38
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Agreed.

Atheism (and agnosticism) isn't something one believes in order to "get" something. They aren't reward based beliefs.

But I do like being able to call myself a heathen, so maybe that's my benefit (although I'm agnostic, not atheistic).

Heathen. I like that.
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Old 04-23-2005, 07:50 PM   #39
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My grandparents thought I was a heathen or as they would pronounce it, heden. My history with religion is crazy, I went to a Catholic school until Grade 5, Pentecostal school until graduation, baptized as a baby under United, went to Sunday school at Pentecostal and Salvation Army Church, one set of grandparents were strict Salvation Army, one of my best friend's was Muslim and my dad is a Buddhist. So like many others, I was exposed to quite a bit of doctrine. But I didn't go for it.

Atheism hasn't done anything for me and I haven't benefited from it in tangible terms. I am not looking for a reward for my non-belief in God or deitys. I just live my life with the concept that by living a decent life, the world will be a better place. What I consider to be decent behaviour is derived from life experiences and yes, has similarities to some religious doctrine but not all.

I read this a few years back:

"the world will be a better place if we all believe whatever we wish, but behave as if there is no deity to sort out humankind's problems"

I like this idea since as mentioned by previous posters, many conflicts have arised which are rooted in differences in religion and beliefs. But if our resources were used to help each other instead of trying to influence or conquer than perhaps the earth would be a much better place.

I guess one benefit is I save money during the religious holidays, I don't buy all the religious paraphenalia either, sleep in on days like Saturday and Sunday, eat whatever I want with no rules attached, dress however I want, be friends with whomever I wish, and evaluate life based on the merits of the situation or person, not on what someone or some writings tell me to do. Actually, these aren't benefits persay, more like things I don't have to do in my life as a result of being an atheist.
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Old 04-23-2005, 08:21 PM   #40
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Originally posted by trevster2k


"the world will be a better place if we all believe whatever we wish, but behave as if there is no deity to sort out humankind's problems"

I like this idea since as mentioned by previous posters, many conflicts have arised which are rooted in differences in religion and beliefs. But if our resources were used to help each other instead of trying to influence or conquer than perhaps the earth would be a much better place.

I guess one benefit is I save money during the religious holidays, I don't buy all the religious paraphenalia either, sleep in on days like Saturday and Sunday, eat whatever I want with no rules attached, dress however I want, be friends with whomever I wish, and evaluate life based on the merits of the situation or person, not on what someone or some writings tell me to do. Actually, these aren't benefits persay, more like things I don't have to do in my life as a result of being an atheist.
It's important to remember that the same religions that were used to justify wars were also the inspiration for immeasurable amounts of goodwill and charity.

Some people paint religions up to be these horrible institutions that have driven people to do horrific things. Yes - people have bastardized the teachings of religions in the name of greed and power. But religion has also been the source of inspiration for artists and philanthropists the world over.

-Miggy
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Old 04-23-2005, 08:39 PM   #41
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I didn't mean to insinuate that religion is bad, sorry if it came across that way. I think that religion has many positive effects on people which help them live better lives, deal with sorrow and yes, inspire great achievements. Like I said, not for me.

The comment about behaviour stems from an attempt to see people not act like the afterlife is more important than our lives we live each and every day. Some actions are in total contradiction of what is good for humankind or intolerant because it goes against a specific religious doctrine. I wasn't specifically referring to wars although there have been some of those too, I meant conflicts like differing opinions.
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Old 04-23-2005, 10:21 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Miggy D
I was listening to the radio some time ago, and the host hypothesized that if there were a way that science could prove without a shadow of a doubt that God didn't exist, the very day they announced their findings would be the day masses of people started looting stores and breaking laws, because they'd have no reason not to. If it were true that there were absolutely no God, no higher being to be held accountable to, no ramifications upon death...why not be selfish?

-Miggy D

Why not be selfish? Because you still have the ability to empathize. Some people lack this ability, but I think they are fairly evenly divided amongst the religious and the non-religious. Maybe some people would commit crimes if they suddenly discovered that there was no god, but only if there were no consequences. The law would still be there to punish them. If you had a society of atheists, it wouldn't suddenly be a lawless society, everyone has a stake in having a functional society where they can feel safe.

Religion doesn't = morality or having a concious. I am an agnostic and I think that I have pretty high moral standards, it all boils down to the fact that I have empathy for others and foresight to protect my physical/emotional integrity. You don't have to believe in Jesus' divinity in order to appreciate and follow the golden rule.
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Old 04-23-2005, 10:22 PM   #43
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trevster2k:
I guess one benefit is I save money during the religious holidays, I don't buy all the religious paraphenalia either, sleep in on days like Saturday and Sunday, eat whatever I want with no rules attached, dress however I want, be friends with whomever I wish, and evaluate life based on the merits of the situation or person, not on what someone or some writings tell me to do. Actually, these aren't benefits persay, more like things I don't have to do in my life as a result of being an atheist.
I suppose that is mildly comforting in a way that you don't feel obligated.

Quote:
Miggy D
It's important to remember that the same religions that were used to justify wars were also the inspiration for immeasurable amounts of goodwill and charity.

Some people paint religions up to be these horrible institutions that have driven people to do horrific things. Yes - people have bastardized the teachings of religions in the name of greed and power. But religion has also been the source of inspiration for artists and philanthropists the world over.
Excellent points.
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Old 04-24-2005, 01:16 AM   #44
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Originally posted by Miggy D
I was listening to the radio some time ago, and the host hypothesized that if there were a way that science could prove without a shadow of a doubt that God didn't exist, the very day they announced their findings would be the day masses of people started looting stores and breaking laws, because they'd have no reason not to. If it were true that there were absolutely no God, no higher being to be held accountable to, no ramifications upon death...why not be selfish?
Not that I find this scenario at all realistic, but wouldn't it be more likely that the people who start all the looting and general misbehaving would not in fact be the atheists, but the believers who had the rug pulled from under their feet? After all, science wouldn't be telling atheists anything they didn't know already; if you don't believe there's a higher being you're accountable to, the discovery that there's no God isn't going to shake -your- world.

As for the reasons why anyone would feel better about absence of God... well perhaps many people don't automatically think of God as loving and aren't sure what God's plans towards mankind might be.
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Old 04-24-2005, 03:12 AM   #45
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Originally posted by Saracene


Not that I find this scenario at all realistic, but wouldn't it be more likely that the people who start all the looting and general misbehaving would not in fact be the atheists, but the believers who had the rug pulled from under their feet? After all, science wouldn't be telling atheists anything they didn't know already; if you don't believe there's a higher being you're accountable to, the discovery that there's no God isn't going to shake -your- world.
I never insinuated that the long-time atheists would be the ones committing the crimes. The revelation that God did not exist would not be a shock to them. I was obviously referencing the believers.

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