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Totenkopf
08-29-2007, 10:19 PM
He's also a recovered atheist.... :xp:

Which raises (sorry if it's deemed offtopic) an interesting question.....how does an atheist mange to stray from the reservation. Theists usually go overboard due to personal crises, but what causes an atheist to "come back/around"?

Thread split from Christian weblinks (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?p=2365007#post2365007). --Jae

Arcesious
08-29-2007, 10:22 PM
They come back around when they finally see the truth in God through some means of proof they cannot deny, as the Holy Sprit works through them, urging them towards Christ if they have an open enough mind.

jonathan7
08-29-2007, 10:25 PM
Which raises (sorry if it's deemed offtopic) an interesting question.....how does an atheist mange to stray from the reservation. Theists usually go overboard due to personal crises, but what causes an atheist to "come back/around"?

Indeed, of course I would argue God would have something to do with this ;)

Quite a few reformed atheists about... C.S. Lewis probably being the most famous, what do people make of Antony Flew's defection from atheism to theism/deism?

They come back around when they finally see the truth in God through some means of proof they cannot deny, as the Holy Sprit works through them, urging them towards Christ if they have an open enough mind.

The error of what you say is that you assume that coming to faith is an intellectual proccess, if that were so and God was indesbutably prooveable all intelligent people would come to faith, however the evidence suggests otherwise. A further fact to consider if coming to faith were intelligence based would that be fair, given that Jesus is meant to be for everyone...

The sudden turn around from atheism to theism (or vice-versa) is extremley interesting given that changing human opinion is an extremley hard business.

Arcesious
08-29-2007, 10:30 PM
i didn't mean that intellectual people would come back to it in the way you interpreted my post.

MdKnightR
08-30-2007, 01:43 AM
They come back around when they finally see the truth in God through some means of proof they cannot deny, as the Holy Sprit works through them, urging them towards Christ if they have an open enough mind.


Nah, its just fear of the unknown. As humans, we have moments of weakness and feel that we need to lean on a "higher power" than ourselves. I've heard it referred to as "crisis theology."

ET Warrior
08-30-2007, 02:00 AM
I think there are plenty of reasons why an Atheist would make that change. The most probable is a simple fear of the unknown. Almost all humans have a strong fear of their own mortality. The notion of non-existence is terrifying at best and it can be comforting to believe that when you die your 'soul' will end up in paradise forever.

Another reason would be fear that ones life has no meaning. The notion that you are a part of a grand scheme cooked up by a supreme being is another potential source of comfort.

I would estimate that the majority of converts come down to fear.

MdKnightR
08-30-2007, 02:07 AM
I think there are plenty of reasons why an Atheist would make that change. The most probable is a simple fear of the unknown. Almost all humans have a strong fear of their own mortality. The notion of non-existence is terrifying at best and it can be comforting to believe that when you die your 'soul' will end up in paradise forever.

Another reason would be fear that ones life has no meaning. The notion that you are a part of a grand scheme cooked up by a supreme being is another potential source of comfort.

I would estimate that the majority of converts come down to fear.


Didn't I just say that? :jester1: j/k

ET Warrior
08-30-2007, 02:18 AM
I wanted to say it in more words so I looked smarter ;)

Jvstice
08-30-2007, 02:34 AM
Another reason would be fear that ones life has no meaning. The notion that you are a part of a grand scheme cooked up by a supreme being is another potential source of comfort.


Honestly, I think this is the main reason. If someone is an atheist, then I don't think fear is really a motivation in the sense of being scared of a wrathful God punishing them for unbelief. What I think is more likely is looking at their lives, and seeing that there's no meaning to anything without a spiritual context and turn to theism in the hopes (or conviction) that this isn't it.

I see a lot of non-theists always assuming that fear is the only reason anyone could believe... yadda yadda...

And it may describe some people's behavior or beliefs, but if that is their assumption, they know nothing about what motivates me, nor do I believe it's possible for them to understand me as long as that is their assumption. Not that I was an atheist, but as far as the fearful mindset. If that were all that my beliefs were were a refuge from being slaughtered by God, I wouldn't choose to believe as I do.

Achilles
08-30-2007, 02:41 AM
What I think is more likely is looking at their lives, and seeing that there's no meaning to anything without a spiritual context and turn to theism in the hopes (or conviction) that this isn't it. I think you presume a great deal with this statement.

I see a lot of non-theists always assuming that fear is the only reason anyone could believe... yadda yadda... Indoctrination gets you there. Fear makes sure that you stay (usually).

Jvstice
08-30-2007, 03:01 AM
I think you presume a great deal with this statement.

Possibly true, but no more than anyone else in this thread. If you claim to be an atheist, by definition, you presume about something you have no personal experiences with (i.e. motivations for having or holding onto faith).
I make no such claims.

Indoctrination gets you there. Fear makes sure that you stay (usually).
That is one way to get there. Of course, I'd assume that someone who chose to be an atheist isn't someone who has been indoctrinated, and would be looking critically, for the most part. Just because they made a decision different than you, doesn't make it inconcievable that they had a reasonable motivation to do such a thing, does it?

Achilles
08-30-2007, 03:12 AM
Possibly true, but no more than anyone else in this thread. My contention isn't with anyone else's statement: it's with yours.

The fact of the matter is that atheist generally have a greater appreciation for life than theists. Therefore your assumption that atheists are awash in a sea of despair would be wrong.

If you claim to be an atheist, by definition, you presume about something you have no personal experiences with Actually, I don't presume at all, hence why I'm an atheist. Furthermore, you presume that I have no experience with religion because I'm currently an atheist, however I've previously been a christian, a mormon (technically christian but still), and a pagan.

I make no such claims. Right after you presume that I have no personal experience with religion. Well done.

That is one way to get there. Of course, I'd assume that someone who chose to be an atheist isn't someone who has been indoctrinated, and would be looking critically, for the most part. I'm not sure how this relates to chosing to be a theist. Your argument would appear to be related to chosing to be an atheist, which is not what we were discussing.

Just because they made a decision different than you, doesn't make it inconcievable that they had a reasonable motivation to do such a thing, does it? Sir, I've been asking for years for a reasonable argument for theism. If you are here now to present said argument, I beg you not to delay any longer.

Jvstice
08-30-2007, 03:56 AM
My contention isn't with anyone else's statement: it's with yours.

The fact of the matter is that atheist generally have a greater appreciation for life than theists. Therefore your assumption that atheists are awash in a sea of despair would be wrong.
Between Camus, Sartre, Neitsche, B.F. Skinner, John Stuart Mill and Ayn Rand, only the latter two had a view that the world was generally positive.
But all of them other than Rand didn't think that there could be meaning in life other than personal meaning from what I've read.Rand put that meaning intrinsically in reason itself, the virtue of survival for it's own sake and enlightened selfishishness as the highest value. Other than her methodology, there is no automatic methodology from is to ought, so I really only have the examples I've seen spell out what they think in writing to go by.

If you prefer more modern thinkers Steven Jay Gould was ambivalently positive, but Richard Dawkins was negative both interpersonally and his interpretation of the whole doomed by our genes thing.

Actually, I don't presume at all, hence why I'm an atheist. Furthermore, you presume that I have no experience with religion because I'm currently an atheist, however I've previously been a christian, a mormon (technically christian but still), and a pagan.

Right after you presume that I have no personal experience with religion. Well done.
Sorry for stereotyping you. You come across as fanatical as some of the fundies in the opposite direction with some of your posts to the extremist in the Christianity is a religion of tolerance thread (though less aggressive), so I lumped you in with them in a way.

I'm not sure how this relates to chosing to be a theist. Your argument would appear to be related to chosing to be an atheist, which is not what we were discussing.
No. I was saying that someone who was an atheist, and became a theist as described in the title of the thread would not have come to the decision to turn toward theism because they were scared into it. It would be the way you'd approach coming to any religion now, not necessarily the way that a theist might approach becoming a different kind of theist similar to their own type. Cautiously, with a lot of skepticism, and requiring a high burden of proof to personally satisfy them.

Sir, I've been asking for years for a reasonable argument for theism. If you are here now to present said argument, I beg you not to delay any longer.
I don't believe that a purely rational arguement exists. Some truths have to be experienced to be relevant to a person's life. Or at least that's been my experience is that some things in reality are very personal.

I do think that "the God of the gaps" isn't sufficient as a rational explanation. I also believe that there are definite limitations to the questions that science can ask. Science looks for a proximate cause. Religion and philosophy look for ultimate causes. Explaining the cause of the proximate cause of something, you might get an explaination of a chain of events that leads to the first action, and still miss the meaning of that event. Different methodologies to answer different questions.

Jae Onasi
08-30-2007, 04:09 AM
Mod note: Let's please not turn this into another atheism vs. theism thread since we already have one going. This topic is pretty specific--why do atheists decide to turn to faith.

Ray Jones
08-30-2007, 06:14 AM
I am not sure how many "former atheists" are really that, former-atheists-and-now-believers.

I can imagine it is tried to use such things propaganda wise, to catch or hold those who are not sure about what to think.

mur'phon
08-30-2007, 07:16 AM
As a person who went atheist-theist-atheist, I can only speak for myself, though I think I am not the only one. I became a theist when a relative died simply because I desperately wanted there to be something after death. I didn't want to consider the possibilty that my great-grandmother had ceased to exist, and therefore I ended up creating a religion akin to budhism, though I could just as easily have joined any religion telling me that great-grand isn't gone for good. Eventually I got my thoughts sorted out, but for those years I was close to a fundamentalist (quite ironic as I had despised fundamentalists with a passion). In short, a crisis can make a person unvilling to face the fact that for an atheist there is no life after death.

jonathan7
08-30-2007, 08:51 AM
My contention isn't with anyone else's statement: it's with yours.

The fact of the matter is that atheist generally have a greater appreciation for life than theists.

How do you work that one out?

I presume you are going to bring up religious wars. But I would contend that most wars are because; the masses in most countries are poorly educated and easily manipulated by greedy powerful leaders for their own ends. Also I feel history has proved that theist and atheist countries can be just as violent as one another.

Therefore your assumption that atheists are awash in a sea of despair would be wrong.

Wonder if there have been any psychological studies to compare depression levels of theists and atheists... *Heads off to research*

Ray Jones
08-30-2007, 09:04 AM
As a person who went atheist-theist-atheist, I can only speak for myself, though I think I am not the only one. I became a theist when a relative died simply because I desperately wanted there to be something after death. I didn't want to consider the possibilty that my great-grandmother had ceased to exist, and therefore I ended up creating a religion akin to budhism, though I could just as easily have joined any religion telling me that great-grand isn't gone for good. Eventually I got my thoughts sorted out, but for those years I was close to a fundamentalist (quite ironic as I had despised fundamentalists with a passion). In short, a crisis can make a person unvilling to face the fact that for an atheist there is no life after death.
Hmm. But when you consider there to be an afterlife and a god, even if it's only a hope, were you really an atheist?

mur'phon
08-30-2007, 09:46 AM
Hmm. But when you consider there to be an afterlife and a god, even if it's only a hope, were you really an atheist?

Sorry for not being clear, I went from not believing in an afterlife, to hoping so much that there would be an afterlife that I started believing in it, and then back to not believing.

Ray Jones
08-30-2007, 10:10 AM
That's not exactly theism then, I'd say. ;)

Arcesious
08-30-2007, 10:11 AM
Fear as you may call it can lead to it- or is it when you finally realize it's truth that you turn back to God? There is something only one who has made his mind open to God's will can realize, i will attempt to explain it in such a way that chose who have not opened their minds to God can understand, as this is a kind of 'Opinion through experience' type of thing.
I was a Beliver in Christ once only because of fear of going to Hell, and the joy of going to heaven. i didn't know any major science back then- i hadn't even heard of evolution, as i was only eiht years old. eventually, i gave up Christ for a short period of time, not telling anyon about it, but still going to church with my parents. Then, i had my first majorly infromative Bible class. I went back Christianty in an instant, note: i knew no major science knowledge yet at this time.
At the age of 14, i got more into depth about Christ and Science, an evr rising conflict in my mind. i was staying by fear then for a time too. I browsed forum sites and discussed my beliefs- i wa sinadequatly equiped to debate such subjects and win at that time. then my first major science class that i had had at the age of 13 related completely to evolution, at least almost. Just recently, a month or two ago, i read a verse somewhere i think was in Genesis- where it said something like 'God gave the creatures the ability to adapt'. still, man's evolution conflicted for me, but i stayed with Christ, now realizing that God allowed the animals to be able to 'evolve', except for Man. Heaing form moderator Jae that a banana is 50% related to human DNA gave me a perpective that 5% of DNA different in Humans to monkeys made no difference. i kept getting more and more in-depth in sceinece and christianity then. my faith in Christ wavered for a time then too- then my father refered me to some sites suhc as Lee stobel's site, hugh ross's site, and stand to reason. i studied the things on those sites, and now my faith is more solid than ever. Soem people turn to atheism from their beliefs because they are inadequatly eqipped to answer the questions athiests use to bring them onto their side. No offenses towards anyone's beliefs in the next few words meant:
Catholics, Mormons, Pagans, Islam, etc, etc, most all teach salvation by works. My belief doesn't. I accept Christ, and i feel free and independent of myself by following what his will is said to be in the bible. The bible says to preach god's word, and i may be 15, but heck- i'll try to preach it to some adults and such, my age deosn't matter- The Holy Spirit is simply workign through me to show you the truth, so i don't accept much credit for sayign this, as it just seems to keep coming out of nowhere, but it seems so pefect- a feelign i can't explain unless if you've felt it before, a feeling of me doing something i couldn't have come up with on my own without spiritual guidance. Now, i'm not saying that the Hoyl Sprit is saying: type this- type that, in my head, it's just comign to me, out of seemingly nowhere.
False religions all teahc slavation by works mostly, teach of heaven and hell, etc, etc. there is something about Christianity- true Christianity, not a twisted form of it, that just seesm so true to me that it can't be wrong. refer to some of the sites in the 'Christian Weblinks' thread or further info on why Christianity is true and others aren't. Catholics can easily be swayed to Athiesm- all because they aren't following the religion in whihc will teach them what they need to be able to answer the questions an athiest uses to brign them over. i'm not picking on catholics specifically, and i mean no offense towards them, i was only saying that as an example.
I love doing the will of God- Christianity makes me feel independent event hough i'm bound to it and obey it and it's restrictions.
There are many 'Cults' of Christianity and other religions, and they are false, and get mixed up with whats real and what's not real. I'm talking about pure Christianity- not some side cult of it, and i hope you don't mix those two up in these dicussions. Just refer to the other sites in the 'Christian weblinks' thread, and hopefully those of you who are athiets will come to see the truth i see in God's infallible word and truth, as those sites shoudl explaint hings i haven't. this post is meant for a bunch of different threads, but i decided to post it here, instead making a new thread, as my debating skills need some tuning before i do that again.

Jvstice
08-30-2007, 11:26 AM
Achilles: I would point out some of the writings of Steven Mithen. He takes the point of view that much of what evolved between Homo neandertalis to Homo sapiens involved brain lateralization is the capacity for religion, and the capacity for science due to the rise of the capacity for language. Dean Falk also has some great books on the same premise of language evolving from mental capacities in some of our ancestors for music, but touches less on what some of the cultural innovations would be, rather focusing more on parts of the brain useful in both.

The arguement they made which I was going to present is that as of the time of Homo neandertalis, what cultural artifacts that survive point to them not having a capacity for symbolic thought, or religion, while ours does? One of the things that was most central to becoming human was the development of religion, the capacity to look for meaning behind events. Whether people look to faith or reason for their world view, many of the same mental mechanisms were necessary for the development of agriculture (combining naturalistic thought with thought about tools), racism (or stereotyping in general), nationalism/Globalism (working with large groups that base their loyalty on other than social groups), economics, and more.

Where I was going with this is an arguement from evolution for human religiousness. Especially if there is any validity to the idea of memes, and social evolution. If the genes for the search for meaning are equally spread through humanity, and there shouldn't be much different between theists and atheists as far as superiority of religious genes leading to greater survival rates, then much of the survival value comes from the ideas themselves.

But then there are more theists than non-theists (both agnostics and atheists) by far, and always have been throughout recorded human history. What is the reason for a strong survival advantage laying with a theistic point of view? A few possible reasons suggest themselves to me.

1. Their assumption is closer to reality, thus provides a greater survival advantage by virtue of its being true.

2. Their assumption nurtures a person (or group) to hold on to more pro-survival behavior like altruism among close kin, protecting the weak, in-group bonding, optimism about life and death, or virtues necessicary for the promotion of human life in a society.

3. There really is no survival benefit in and of itself. It's entirely coincidence that atheists and agnostics have been an abberation through most of history as a matter of chance. Things could have just as easily have gone the other way, and no explanation exists for why things didn't actually work out that way, except perhaps an association of theism with some other trait of thought.

4. God really is helping the theists to prosper over non-theists, though admittedly by less and less of a margin in the last 60 years or so than any other point in recorded history.

Anyway, whether you admit personal religiousity has anything to do with reality, most human history points to us being hardwired, or at least pre-biased (as a species) in a proreligious direction. And if we're being intellectually honest, it's something you have to deal with one way or another about what it means to be human.

Ray Jones
08-30-2007, 11:31 AM
The Holy Spirit is simply workign through me to show you the truth, so i don't accept much credit for sayign this, as it just seems to keep coming out of nowhere, but it seems so pefect- a feelign i can't explain unless if you've felt it before, a feeling of me doing something i couldn't have come up with on my own without spiritual guidance. Now, i'm not saying that the Hoyl Sprit is saying: type this- type that, in my head, it's just comign to me, out of seemingly nowhere.·
It's called "train of thought". And as a 15 year old person you're in a phase where you develop your own personality more than all the years before. These thoughts and ideas you have just show that you're up to find your own view on things while you become more and more "independent" from your parents.

I wouldn't call it a "holy spirit working through you", rather puberty and finding your own way and understanding of the world, instead.

mimartin
08-30-2007, 12:06 PM
Having never been an atheist I can not truly say would bring one back to faith. I would imagine that atheists become people of faith for the same reason as any other person as we are all the same. I believe MdknightR summed it up nicely in post #5 as did ET Warrior in post #6 (only smarter :p).

If someone is an atheist, then I don't think fear is really a motivation in the sense of being scared of a wrathful God punishing them for unbelief. What I think is more likely is looking at their lives, and seeing that there's no meaning to anything without a spiritual context and turn to theism in the hopes (or conviction) that this isn't it. I’ll agree with your first point, I too don’t believe it is fear of Gods wrath, as an atheist does not believe in God, then why would they have reason to fear Gods wrath?

No, it is a fear of non-existence, a fear of nothingness beyond this life that brings some people to faith.

As to your second point (if I understand you correctly) I will agree to a certain point, but I believe it deals more with what ET Warrior wrote above about having a strong fear of our own mortality. I will take it one step further saying it is a fear of death, not only the person in crisis, but that person’s loved ones (ET Warrior that is why MdKnightR statement may be smarter, because it is not limited to the individual;)). Faith can bring comfort and meaning to the loss of a loved one. The thought that their loved one still exist elsewhere (real or imaginary) is comforting and gives this life and thus their death meaning.

Achilles
08-30-2007, 12:23 PM
Jvstice & jonathan7,

With respect to Jae's post, I'll be responding to your messages in the atheist/theist thread.

Ray Jones
08-30-2007, 12:27 PM
Faith can bring comfort and meaning to the loss of a loved one. The thought that their loved one still exist elsewhere (real or imaginary) is comforting and gives this life and thus their death meaning.
The thought that I've lost someone, and I don't know if he's well or not, or in religious means in heaven or hell would by no means comfort me in any way. To know my grandpa died and simply "went back to nature", and my memories about him and what he taught me have a more positive effect on my mind, because it's that what makes his past life meaningful to me.

Jvstice
08-30-2007, 12:27 PM
mimartin: I guess I can see that. Apart from appeals to a higher power the only bridge from existence to meaningful existence I've ever heard stated is to place an intrinsic value on life itself, and define good as that which promotes survival.

That's hardly a leap you'd make on pure logic. Value judgements and subjective criteria come in into the decision somewhere.

mimartin
08-30-2007, 12:51 PM
The thought that I've lost someone, and I don't know if he's well or not, or in religious means in heaven or hell would by no means comfort me in any way. To know my grandpa died and simply "went back to nature", and my memories about him and what he taught me have a more positive effect on my mind, because it's that what makes his past life meaningful to me.
True, and that is why I said some people. I wished we all could handle death in the way you described here. The only way to truly honor the memory of our loved ones is to do as you described and keep their memories alive in our hearts. I’m a little more passionate about this subject right now as I am going though my own type of “crisis theology” with the death of someone close to me.

That said, I’ll stand by my original statement and say again fear of non-existence of oneself or loved one is the main reason most people are brought to faith.

Web Rider
08-30-2007, 01:01 PM
generally, I'd say that they probly wern't really staunch atheists to begin with. Maybe hardcore agnostic "maybes". And lets not start debating how my definitions of atheists and agnostic are different than others, they simply are, and if you're in this topic, I expect you to be able to understand how I'm using them, so lets not go there.

I think there's alot more reasons than the faith itsself. Maybe all their friends are doing it, peer pressure works at any age, maybe the love of their life won't get married to them if they don't convert.(some love right)

But If you want specifics and we're talking about a lone hardcore atheist who's been an atheist for years, then they suddenly see the proverbial light, well, I'd probly say that they either found enough proof to satisfy themselves in religion to believe in it, or they lost "faith" in their atheist views. I doubt it's out of fear of the unknown if they've been an atheist for a long time. Perhaps they had some emotional issues, a nervous breakdown or some other sort of life-altering crisis that made them need spirituality.

Samuel Dravis
08-30-2007, 01:04 PM
It would be quite easy to make me believe in a religion - all you'd have to do is come up with something that actually has a relation to reality. If you tell me this-and-that is true, fine. That's your opinion. However, unless there's some way for me (or anyone!) to check it, there's very little reason to believe you.

For my part, the fear of death and nothingness is irrational and not a good way to spend my time. So I don't. Not liking an inevitable consequence is no grounds for deluding myself into thinking that reality, on a "deeper level" (an unverifiable one, at that!) is different that my experiences tell me.

Achilles
08-30-2007, 01:17 PM
True, and that is why I said some people. I wished we all could handle death in the way you described here. The only way to truly honor the memory of our loved ones is to do as you described and keep their memories alive in our hearts. I’m a little more passionate about this subject right now as I am going though my own type of “crisis theology” with the death of someone close to me. My condolences to you. I, too, am in the middle of something of a tribulation. Not sure whether my family member will pull through or not, but everyday things look a little better. Small comfort comes from knowing that she wasn't supposed to live pass the age of 60, so the last 20 years have been something that we've all cherished, but knew would have to come to an end eventually. I suppose that the same can be said of all life though, as we are all destined to die.

Anyways, my thoughts are with you.

That said, I’ll stand by my original statement and say again fear of non-existence of oneself or loved one is the main reason most people are brought to faith. Agreed.

It would be quite easy to make me believe in a religion - all you'd have to do is come up with something that actually has a relation to reality. If you tell me this-and-that is true, fine. That's your opinion. However, unless there's some way for me (or anyone!) to check it, there's very little reason to believe you. Precisely how I feel. Well said.

For my part, the fear of death and nothingness is irrational and not a good way to spend my time. I think I agree on most of this point. I think that it is important to spend time thinking about death. Familiarity removes the mystery from a thing, and we all know that we fear what we don't understand. Therefore, coming to accept death as a necessary part of life removes the fear.

I like to think of it like turning on a closet light to show children that there are no monsters :)

SilentScope001
08-30-2007, 01:32 PM
I think there might be a third reason that might block people from being an atheist/skeptic. It's articulated in much less "corase" methods, and it's probraly repeated in any more methods, but...

For me, it's not a fear of "nothingess", because even in Heaven, you are still "nothing". Receiving all the peace and prosperity in Heaven still leads to existental agnst after a while. It is not fear of death because death leads to peace of the grave, and you get to have lots of fun in Niravna.

Nah, it's fear of being stuck and stating, "Hey, there's REALLY is nothing. Now what?" Since I don't believe in some objective being...or any objective truth at all, there is nothing for me to do. Nothing to motivate me. I would love to yawn all day, but the rest of society will push me, and overall, I'd be seen as an idiot. So, of course, I'll have to choose to believe in something, to entertain me and therefore make me have fun until I die. But since I have to believe in something, I have defeated the whole purpose of being a secular being who relies on logic, so well, I can easily convert back to faith due to the fact that I have a bad attention span. (I know you can believe in ideologies without believing in God. I won't do that. Ethical Relativism ftw.)

It's the Fear of Boredom. Not death. Not Hell. Boredom. I can handle being nothing. I can't handle doing nothing at all.

Samuel Dravis
08-30-2007, 01:36 PM
Silent, if you're dead for good and no afterlife, somehow I doubt you'd be wanting to yawn all day, or wanting anything for that matter. It would seem that your argument is against any afterlife whatsoever, as they're the only way you'd even have a possibility of getting bored for eternity. :)

SilentScope001
08-30-2007, 01:40 PM
Silent, if you're dead for good and no afterlife, somehow I doubt you'd be wanting to yawn all day, or wanting anything for that matter. It would seem that your argument is against any afterlife whatsoever, as they're the only way you'd even have a possibility of getting bored for eternity. :)

But we're not living in the afterlife right now...we're living in this world. And I want to avoid boredom as much as possible. Push it away as far away as physically possible.

Not to mention that not only will you be bored, but you could also get harmed as well. Like, if you get bored and play games all day, you can get fat and get hurt that way. When you get bored in the afterlife, you won't get fat by playing games all day and won't have to receive much of pain. :)

PoiuyWired
08-30-2007, 06:25 PM
Silent, if you're dead for good and no afterlife, somehow I doubt you'd be wanting to yawn all day, or wanting anything for that matter. It would seem that your argument is against any afterlife whatsoever, as they're the only way you'd even have a possibility of getting bored for eternity. :)

Makes me remember one thing though. A person can be atheist and still believe in incarnation. If so then Kama or no Kama you are existing for eternalty, though depending on your view in the details you may or maynot get bored.

So, the ease of an atheist converting to a theist can be depending on his views of Death and beyond. An atheist with a more positive view on Death would mean that things like "fear of afterlife" and "fear of nothingness" may not exist, or lessened. (I mean, vice versa, atheist may have thought of the whole "what if there is nothing after death ordeal.)

Also, there are "aftermath of Death" not related to religious ideas at all. Creating a "legacy" for people they have known/unknown in life. This can be anything from composing a wonderful piece of art/technology/etc, to generally good to people. In this way you "live on after death".

Stealing a saying from my friend "throw s pabble in a pond and it ripples for eternalty"

I think one of the main reason for the whole atheist-to-theist conversion is simply "lack of peer support". There are enough groups out there based on religious activity, be it churches/temples/etc. But there is no "house of atheists" for most places. Sure there are enough "non religious support groups" of any kind around, but members of these groups usually have a mix of religious believes, and chances are a really small portion of it being atheist related.

Arcesious
08-30-2007, 06:35 PM
ray jones- it's not 'puberty'. I am not becoeming excessively independent of my parents- as when they have me do chores, i do them happily and do not question what they tell me to do, and i don't talk back to them anymore when they try to teach me something out myself doing something bad whenever that happens. It's not coming from me directly- i can feel that some thing- Ex: Holy Spirit, is workign through me. it is not that little conciance (sp?) in the back of my mind that was giving me the words i was typing in my last post here, it was something else, but not directly me.
I came to forums originally out of wanting to be more independent- skipping through about five forum sites until finally settling at this one, and eventually through that, i foudn the purpose that i would do is try to bring people to God, since almost everyone i know and coem in contact with is a Christian, and i wanted to bring others to Christ, and that is what i'm attempting to do now. I no longer coem on forums to discuss randomt higns to be indepenedent- i coem to them since they are the onyl way this moment for me to witness to others about the truth is see in God. (that, and to ask questions about games i play)

TK-8252
08-30-2007, 07:10 PM
It's not so much fear as it is weakness. Religion is a crutch. Anyone who used to be an atheist and became a believer does not have the mental willpower to exist on their own without the guidance of a god, and fear is one among other factors that are what lead to said person's taking up of a religion.

Someone might take up religion after surviving some kind of life-and-death experience, such as a car accident, or being diagnosed with a fatal disease. Someone might take up religion in order to feel like they belong to something. (Why not just join a bowling team then? Sigh.) Or maybe because they feel insignificant, and want to be a part of something bigger. There's any number of reasons.

SilentScope001
08-30-2007, 07:37 PM
Makes me remember one thing though. A person can be atheist and still believe in incarnation. If so then Kama or no Kama you are existing for eternalty, though depending on your view in the details you may or maynot get bored.

Ergh. So it may be possible that my soul will be forced to go through numerous respawnings and be forced to live in this world forever?! You're taking away all the good things about death here! :)

Also, there are "aftermath of Death" not related to religious ideas at all. Creating a "legacy" for people they have known/unknown in life. This can be anything from composing a wonderful piece of art/technology/etc, to generally good to people. In this way you "live on after death".

But in some cases, you can't exactly observe that. And sometimes, things can turn much more different than you expect. Look at the Roman Republic/Empire. The Romans who died to create such an empire believed that they would be honored and loved for creating such an Empire. They thought this Empire would be the most perfect form of government and that the Roman Empire will last forever and be honored. And, at the time, when they die, and in the immediate years afterwards, the legacy they have left is honored and praised.

Today...when a known terrorist, Sparatcus, gets his own movie, when we condmen slavery and honor slave rebels, when we chuckle at the Senate's corruption, when we moan about the Roman butchering, when some Historans cheer that the destruction of Rome led to an eventual Enlightnment era...you know, the Roman Empire did "live on", but it like how Darth Sion the Zombie lives on, receiving lots of insults and slurs, and always suffering day after day. Would I want to live such a legacy, especially when my legacy is determined on what people millions of years later will think of me?

Arcesious
08-30-2007, 07:38 PM
I oringally joined Christianity out of fear- but now i do not follow it out of fear, i follow it becasue all i have leanred of it makes me rock solid towards the truth i see in it. Life experience and shapng of one's mind plays a major role in becoming a Christian or rejecting it.

Samuel Dravis
08-30-2007, 11:39 PM
It's not so much fear as it is weakness. Religion is a crutch. Anyone who used to be an atheist and became a believer does not have the mental willpower to exist on their own without the guidance of a god, and fear is one among other factors that are what lead to said person's taking up of a religion.I would not go so far as to say that. Perhaps the person in question really did have some sort of experience that convinced them of the truth about religion and they are acting within rational standards. Good luck convincing anyone else of that without some objective evidence, though. For myself, I don't see that as completely out of the question, but rather unlikely given my current experience. :)

I oringally joined Christianity out of fear- but now i do not follow it out of fear, i follow it becasue all i have leanred of it makes me rock solid towards the truth i see in it. Life experience and shapng of one's mind plays a major role in becoming a Christian or rejecting it.I was a christian for longer than you've been alive. You've still got plenty of time for that 'life experience.' :)

Web Rider
08-30-2007, 11:40 PM
I came to forums originally out of wanting to be more independent- skipping through about five forum sites until finally settling at this one, and eventually through that, i foudn the purpose that i would do is try to bring people to God, since almost everyone i know and coem in contact with is a Christian, and i wanted to bring others to Christ, and that is what i'm attempting to do now. I no longer coem on forums to discuss randomt higns to be indepenedent- i coem to them since they are the onyl way this moment for me to witness to others about the truth is see in God. (that, and to ask questions about games i play)

Not to be rude, but if it comes across as such, I'm honestly not going to apologize for it. But let me see if I can sum this up pretty simply, cleanly and clearly.

Kavar's Corner in particular on the KOTOR and Star Wars forums, is a debate forum. We are here to challenge each other's views, and be corrected or vindicated on them, and all shades in between. By extension, with the possible exception of the "talk about anything forum", none of these forms as far as I know are for proselytizing. If you don't know what that word is, look it up, it's what you're doing.

We are not here to find God. We are not here to find religion, and at least I personally, do not like you're continued, and often "well, if you don't believe, then you're stupid." approach to conversion. I ask you politely, as a member of this forum, to please stop. If you're not interested in debate in which your views may be challenged, then this probly isn't the forum for you. If you think we're stupid for not believing, you're more than welcome to you're opinion, but keep it to yourself.

Back on topic, I would like to take issue with TK's statement.
It's not so much fear as it is weakness. Religion is a crutch. Anyone who used to be an atheist and became a believer does not have the mental willpower to exist on their own without the guidance of a god, and fear is one among other factors that are what lead to said person's taking up of a religion.

While I often agree that religion is as you put it, a "crutch" on which people rely, much like a drug, I don't think that this is really accurate. As you continue to say, extenuating circumstances, such as life+death experiances, can make people feel "small" and turn to religion(or drugs, or whatever). Since I personally think there is, at present, no more proof in favor of God than there is against God(or any omnipotent being), I wouldn't quickly lump all religion into this category. Buddhism for example is not a belief in a higher power, but a path to bettering yourself by a guy who supposedly "ascended". Other religions get similar reactions and yoiu can probly figure out which they are for yourself.

But I do generally agree that the average person, or the average atheist in question who turns to mainstream judeo-christian or other monolithic/monotheistic religions does so out of a desire to be praised to their good deeds, or their inability to take life as "all you get".

MdKnightR
08-31-2007, 01:47 AM
The bible says to preach god's word, and i may be 15,

Somehow, I knew, even before you said it, that you were a recent convert in your mid-teens. I was just as overzealous as you when I was that age. It'll take a few years for you to mellow out and not drive others away with your zeal. Right now, your mission in life is self-defeating.

All right folks, let's stay on topic. Arcesious, this is not a thread on or for proselytizing--that's off-topic. People are going to make up their own minds, you can't force them to have or not have faith, nor is there room here for being judgmental about those decisions. Everyone else, discussing Arcesious' attempts at proselytizing and making judgments about that are likewise off-topic. Feel free to use the report post feature if you're having an issue with a post. --Jae

Jae Onasi
08-31-2007, 02:11 AM
From what I've read from C.S. Lewis and Dr. Collins, both of whom were atheists before becoming Christians, the question came down to meaning in life. If they really were nothing more than a bag of chemicals that 'dance to their genes', then ultimately life had no meaning. It just 'is', and they were nothing more than a momentary blip in the great cosmic nothingness, and life had no intrinsic value. C.S. Lewis decided that if the world was reduced to nothing but material reality, then life was nothing more than a vacuum where people spend time dodging emptiness.

Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel were a couple atheists who set out to debunk Christianity and instead found the arguments and evidence for Christianity so compelling that they had no choice but to believe.

These four have all told their stories in their various books, and there are many others who have moved from atheism to theism and Christianity, not out of fear or using religion as a crutch, but because it provided a level of meaning and purpose that a naturalistic worldview could never provide, or because the evidence provided for no other reasonable conclusions.

Achilles
08-31-2007, 03:42 AM
From what I've read from C.S. Lewis and Dr. Collins, both of whom were atheists before becoming Christians, the question came down to meaning in life. If they really were nothing more than a bag of chemicals that 'dance to their genes', then ultimately life had no meaning. It just 'is', and they were nothing more than a momentary blip in the great cosmic nothingness, and life had no intrinsic value. C.S. Lewis decided that if the world was reduced to nothing but material reality, then life was nothing more than a vacuum where people spend time dodging emptiness. Well that seems to impart a rather morose spin on things, but essentially that sounds about right. If adopting a facade of higher purpose and abdicating their responsibility to find their own helped them, I suppose I should be ok with that, but deep down I can't ignore that they've inspired others to do the same. And that's just wrong in my book.

Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel were a couple atheists who set out to debunk Christianity and instead found the arguments and evidence for Christianity so compelling that they had no choice but to believe. It's a bummer that they haven't seen fit to share this evidence with others so that they can be similarly overwhelmed by the truth.

These four have all told their stories in their various books, and there are many others who have moved from atheism to theism and Christianity, not out of fear or using religion as a crutch, but because it provided a level of meaning and purpose that a naturalistic worldview could never provide, or because the evidence provided for no other reasonable conclusions. That's a very interesting conclusion. On what basis do you presume to know the motivations of all the others that have "moved from atheism to theism and Christianity"?

Jae Onasi
08-31-2007, 03:55 AM
That's a very interesting conclusion. On what basis do you presume to know the motivations of all the others that have "moved from atheism to theism and Christianity"?

I never said 'all' for precisely the reason that there is no way to know 'all' motivations. The stories I've read in books and online indicate that these 2 things tend to dominate (with quest for meaning being the more common of the two). It's the author's conclusions on how _they_ came to faith.

SilentScope001
08-31-2007, 01:39 PM
Is it really that we need to have a meaning in life? Isn't it enough that we should take care of ourselves as species and ensure our forthcome and the continuance of life itself within this universe? I consider this a very honorable and interesting task.

Is that a good thing though? Somehow, trampling all over the universe and taking over everything doesn't sound...uh...fun...especially when said planets run out of resources and we have to do the exact same thing again. I don't really see why I need to take care of the human race (since I don't exactly like human nature), and I surely don't want to have some "humoncentric" view that the human race is awesome and HAVE TO BE PROTECTED, and saving the human race can get boring when you have to do it over, and over, and over...

So, nah. :)

Ray Jones
08-31-2007, 04:56 PM
Okay I'll rephrase.

Life itself strives to spread itself to whereever possible. Every lifeform exists because of this, and to do so for their entire existence. Human beings included. The question HOW life spreads is not or less important. When a way of spreading fails, it may cause extinction of species, whole habitats may be destroyed. Who doesn't fit or cannot adapt is out. Including us humans. But it doesn't matter. Life's history shows us it's only a question of time until the gaps are filled again.

However, that implies that we can't stop extinction of species, nor the change of their habitats. What we can do is show responsibility for us and our environment in order to keep us going as long as possible.

So in case we keep doing the "wrong" thing again and again, we're out, period.

mimartin
08-31-2007, 06:43 PM
While I often agree that religion is as you put it, a "crutch" on which people rely, much like a drug, I don't think that this is really accurate. As you continue to say, extenuating circumstances, such as life+death experiances, can make people feel "small" and turn to religion(or drugs, or whatever). Since I personally think there is, at present, no more proof in favor of God than there is against God(or any omnipotent being), I wouldn't quickly lump all religion into this category.

But I do generally agree that the average person, or the average atheist in question who turns to mainstream judeo-christian or other monolithic/monotheistic religions does so out of a desire to be praised to their good deeds, or their inability to take life as "all you get".
Well said as a person of faith I actually agree with your statement here Web Rider. I wouldn’t believe a true atheist would every come to believe in faith for “praise of their good deeds,” the rest does make sense to me. Personally I believe doing good deeds merely for praise or recognition is selfish and self-centered.

FWIW, I’m way north of 15 with 2 college degrees and I still had to look up the meaning of proselytizing.

SilentScope001
08-31-2007, 09:46 PM
Life itself strives to spread itself to whereever possible. Every lifeform exists because of this, and to do so for their entire existence. Human beings included. The question HOW life spreads is not or less important. When a way of spreading fails, it may cause extinction of species, whole habitats may be destroyed. Who doesn't fit or cannot adapt is out. Including us humans. But it doesn't matter. Life's history shows us it's only a question of time until the gaps are filled again.

Ah, but unlike other lifeforms, we got a little thing known as "intellect". We know about how life grows and spread and everything. We know about evolution, and we know that life exist solely to go and spread.

And we have the power to NOT do such a thing, to turn away from our nature and defy it. To go and say, "You know what? I don't see the point of having the human race live endlessly just so that we can live endlessly, an endless pyramid scheme that really begs to be toppled". The goal of evolution is to produce the species that can exist in an enviroment and breed, but what do we do with that species? What can that species really do? You can argue that we shouldn't worry about that, and only worry about life, which may be true, but then you get back to that boredom issue.

I'm not really caring about the emptiness of life, what I really care about is how boring it would be to have to continue to breed and evolve and adapt to the enviroment forever. About as interesting as watching paint dry, once you know the cycle, once you know the tricks, once you are able to surivie. Then you must ask, "Alright, now what?"

In Galapogos, by Kurt Vonngeut, he makes the argument that bacterium is the most succesful species evolutionary, as they are simple, can reproduce quickly, and evovle easily. There are much more bacteria in the world than they are humans. But, we don't really honor bacterium, do we?

Jae Onasi
09-01-2007, 11:44 AM
Posts that bifurcated to the topic of justification by faith or works have been split to the Justification by faith or works? (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?p=2365791#post2365791) thread. Please continue discussion of why atheists become people of faith here and the specific concepts of salvation/justification by faith and works in the new thread. Thanks.

Ray Jones
09-01-2007, 04:05 PM
Hey LF Mod Squad, I think there was one post too much transfered to the "justification" thread. It is #3 in the other thread, by SilentScope001. Thank you. :)

(I will reply when I am in front of a PC, writing with my mobile phone atm :P)


Mod note: Fixed, I've moved that post back into this thread. :) ~M

Ray Jones
09-03-2007, 09:27 AM
Ah, but unlike other lifeforms, we got a little thing known as "intellect".Other lifeforms own this attribute as well.

We know about how life grows and spread and everything. We know about evolution, and we know that life exist solely to go and spread.Do we really know that it does exist to go and spread? I don't think so. I think we know: it does exist and one of its attributes is that it does spread. Why it exists is beyond my knowledge.

I assume it exists for the same reasons like everything else: because it's possible.

And we have the power to NOT do such a thing, to turn away from our nature and defy it. To go and say, "You know what? I don't see the point of having the human race live endlessly just so that we can live endlessly, an endless pyramid scheme that really begs to be toppled".Yes, everybody is able to say "I want to stop that! It's so stupid!", but I daresay that we'll have a tough time to eventually stop humans (each on their own) from breeding. If we really could do that, and intentionally stop ourselves from going on, then we're nothing but a evolutionary mistake. A species that does not (want to) create offspring at the end of the day contradicts the very definition of life.

The goal of evolution is to produce the species that can exist in an enviroment and breed, but what do we do with that species? What can that species really do? You can argue that we shouldn't worry about that, and only worry about life, which may be true, but then you get back to that boredom issue.Evolution (if ever proven correct) has no goal. In fact, species who found a habitat to breed and live in are the result of evolution (or that what some of us call evolution).

What can a species do? Hm. You know the answer: not really much, except, well, survive, spread life and help to spread life.

Besides that, many species (including us) have developed the ability do craaaazy stuff for their living. So, whenever I throw an eye onto nature I see no boredom. The ways life has found to survive are as manifold as they are bizarre, utmost complex and fragile altogether. Not to mention the places where it happens.

I'm not really caring about the emptiness of life, what I really care about is how boring it would be to have to continue to breed and evolve and adapt to the enviroment forever. About as interesting as watching paint dry, once you know the cycle, once you know the tricks, once you are able to surivie. Then you must ask, "Alright, now what?"Seriously, I doubt that. Boring would mean you could forever foresee what change happens next to the environment to adapt preemptively or something. I don't think that there ever was someone thinking "Pse. Human history nowadays. All that breeding and evolving and stuff. Becomes more boring by the minute."

You cannot totally know the cycle, all the tricks or how to survive forever as long as there is something unknown out there. And regarding the fact that we still have a lot of unknown things here on earth I doubt that we're about to get rid of the "universal unknown" any time soon.

My answer to "Now what?" is clearly "Just turn around."

In Galapogos, by Kurt Vonngeut, he makes the argument that bacterium is the most succesful species evolutionary, as they are simple, can reproduce quickly, and evovle easily. There are much more bacteria in the world than they are humans. But, we don't really honor bacterium, do we?Seeing that we have some of the most amazing environments for life on earth only can exist because of bacterias, or just that the human organism could not live without the symbioses with bacterias, it's pretty dumb not to honour them, isn't it?

SilentScope001
09-03-2007, 05:42 PM
Alright, gotcha. Thanks for your information.

When I said we have "intellect", I mean we are the only species (that we know of) that is able to study other species and learn about evolution and be able to ponder about it. Sure, it is unlikely we are able to stop the cycle of reproduction, and most humans won't want to anyway, but the fact that we could have the thought of deciding not to do such a thing (even though we will easily dismiss it) does sound like something unique.

I guess I only look at the broader trends rather than the challenges that we have to face in order to live day-to-day...because it looks to me that whatever challenge we'll face, we're likely to beat it (IMHO), which you disagree with, stating that we do not know of the challenges and still find it unknown. (In the end, you find this thing interesting, um, I don't. I'll just chalk it up to values...)

Sort of similar to how I view MMORPGs versus how other people view MMORPGs. I find MMORPGs boring even so they are more challenges, more unknowns, and more quests being added on every minute, due to the fact that there is no real end to strive for and that eventually, you might prevail. Other people however do see it, becuase of the fact that there are more challenges, more unknowns, more quests, and there is a chance you might fail due to PvP or your fellow players beat you to the punch. But it's just a tangent to flesh out my world view. (Might also explain my embracing of religion: The possiblity of an "endgame", so I won't get bored.)

But to each their own viewpoint, which is pretty good. And we do agree on the most basic point: "Life is life." The more you know... :)

Seeing that we have some of the most amazing environments for life on earth only can exist because of bacterias, or just that the human organism could not live without the symbioses with bacterias, it's pretty dumb not to honour them, isn't it?

:D

Ray Jones
09-04-2007, 10:51 AM
Sure, it is unlikely we are able to stop the cycle of reproduction, and most humans won't want to anyway, but the fact that we could have the thought of deciding not to do such a thing (even though we will easily dismiss it) does sound like something unique.Yeah, being able to think like a bunch of human Lemmings sounds somewhat unique. XD

because it looks to me that whatever challenge we'll face, we're likely to beat it (IMHO), which you disagree with, stating that we do not know of the challenges and still find it unknownBut does that mean I think we're not gonna beat our challenges eventually? It's just that I don't see how they come bundled with boredom.

(In the end, you find this thing interesting, um, I don't. I'll just chalk it up to values...)I don't know. You're not from the curious kind, are you? Heck, I can even get excited about a new LEGO block and its possibilities. :p

Sort of similar to how I view MMORPGs versus how other people view MMORPGs. I find MMORPGs boring even so they are more challenges, more unknowns, and more quests being added on every minute, due to the fact that there is no real end to strive for and that eventually, you might prevail. Other people however do see it, becuase of the fact that there are more challenges, more unknowns, more quests, and there is a chance you might fail due to PvP or your fellow players beat you to the punch.MMOOPPDGGDSROFS are entertainment. No matter how complex they are, they don't offer any *real* challenges. From a certain point of view it's all pre-chewed crap. Every game, regardless if real life or computer, is like this.

(Might also explain my embracing of religion: The possiblity of an "endgame", so I won't get bored.)Seriously, the endgame, hence the name, comes at the end. I mean, I'm not really bored today just because of the possibility that when I die I might or might not collapse to a micro black hole.

Darth InSidious
09-12-2007, 09:05 AM
When asked why he became a Catholic, Graham Greene referred back to a point in his life when he began to "doubt my doubt" about the resurrection. I think it depends on the person.

@TK-8252: In my experience, being a Christian is anything but a crutch. It's a crucifix to be carried up your very own Golgotha.

Rev7
09-29-2007, 11:51 PM
I think atheists become people of faith because they simply cannot go throughout life the way that they were, and had to lean on the only One that could help them get over that so to speak "hill" in life.

***I KNOW THAT THIS WAS ALREADY SAID, BUT THIS IS MY OPINION TOO***

Point Man
10-01-2007, 12:12 AM
Well, I converted to get a girl :) It worked, too. We've been married for 17 years, now.

Actually, I chose to move from agnosticism to Christianity because it was the best way to explain those things that science cannot. I was in college, majoring in microbiology at the time, and I just could not buy the bill of goods they were trying to sell me. These so-called experts on life's origins were presenting "theories" and "scientific laws" that necessitated more faith than did belief in a Creator God. Fortunately, God provided someone to push me toward making a decision one way or the other. I shudder to think what would have happened had I chosen atheism.

Achilles
10-01-2007, 12:57 AM
Actually, I chose to move from agnosticism to Christianity because it was the best way to explain those things that science cannot.Could you please expand on this?

I was in college, majoring in microbiology at the time, and I just could not buy the bill of goods they were trying to sell me. These so-called experts on life's origins were presenting "theories" and "scientific laws" that necessitated more faith than did belief in a Creator God. Without knowing which "theories" and "laws" you're referring to, I'd rather proceed without guessing, however I would like to know why you opted to apply a rigorous expectation to one set of explanations, but not another.

Fortunately, God provided someone to push me toward making a decision one way or the other. I shudder to think what would have happened had I chosen atheism. Really? Why?

Rogue Warrior
10-01-2007, 05:18 AM
I have one theory: they see atheists parading about a hatred for religion and feel that in the face of such hypocrisies of being moral and ethical they are better off standing for something, religion.

Achilles
10-01-2007, 01:45 PM
I have one theory: they see atheists parading about a hatred for religion and feel that in the face of such hypocrisies of being moral and ethical they are better off standing for something, religion.Why not just opt to stand for morality and ethical behavior? Seems that making the leap to religion would be a huge, unnecessary step in the wrong direction. I suspect that fear is the true motivator. Fear of being wrong, fear of not being accepted by others, etc. Or in jimbo's case: to get the chicks.

Totenkopf
10-01-2007, 04:49 PM
......to get the chicks.

Now, there's a sword that cuts a multitude of ways...... :D

Point Man
10-02-2007, 12:01 AM
Actually, I chose to move from agnosticism to Christianity because it was the best way to explain those things that science cannot.Could you please expand on this?
The big thing was ultimate cause. All scientific explanations come down to taking the eternal existence of matter and energy on faith, just as Christianity takes the eternal existence of God on faith. I saw the infinitesimal probability of atoms somehow progressively coalescing into molecules, complex organic molecules, protein chains, and multi-chain proteins, then reproducing themselves because lightning struck in the exact right spot in the primordial soup (in the presence of a reducing atmosphere) to be less believable than a God who created ex nihilo.
Fortunately, God provided someone to push me toward making a decision one way or the other. I shudder to think what would have happened had I chosen atheism.Really? Why?
At the time I met Jae, I was engaging in some self-destructive behaviors. She led me to a faith that helped me see the folly of the path I was headed down. Getting married to her also made me realize that I could not continue acting in that manner because my decisions affected more than just me.
Or in jimbo's case: to get the chicks.
:)

Achilles
10-02-2007, 12:45 AM
The big thing was ultimate cause. All scientific explanations come down to taking the eternal existence of matter and energy on faith, just as Christianity takes the eternal existence of God on faith. Personally, I don't equate "not having an answer yet" with taking a conclusion "on faith".

What we still have is a situation where we are applying a rigorous expectation to one model but not another. You're more than welcome to do so, however I just hope that no one has convinced themselves that this is rational thinking.

I saw the infinitesimal probability of atoms somehow progressively coalescing into molecules, complex organic molecules, protein chains, and multi-chain proteins, then reproducing themselves because lightning struck in the exact right spot in the primordial soup (in the presence of a reducing atmosphere) to be less believable than a God who created ex nihilo. So because you personally couldn't think of an answer, that automatically meant that there couldn't possibly be one, except god (an alternative for which we have no evidence and the odds for existence are orders of magnitude more infinitesimal)? Am I summarizing the argument correctly here or did I miss something?

At the time I met Jae, I was engaging in some self-destructive behaviors. She led me to a faith that helped me see the folly of the path I was headed down. Getting married to her also made me realize that I could not continue acting in that manner because my decisions affected more than just me. Kudos to you for making it through. Unfortunately not everyone has the ability to examine their lives and the strength to make life-altering changes (even when they are the good kind).

What your response doesn't tell me though is why it is the thought of being an atheist makes you shudder. I could understand the reaction if your options were your place in life now vs. serial killer or something, but in this context it really does seem out of place.

Take care.

Rogue Warrior
10-02-2007, 06:30 AM
Perhaps. One motive to turn to religion however might be to spite the unethical atheist.

Ray Jones
10-02-2007, 06:43 AM
At the time I met Jae, I was engaging in some self-destructive behaviors. She led me to a faith that helped me see the folly of the path I was headed down. Getting married to her also made me realize that I could not continue acting in that manner because my decisions affected more than just me.So, in the end, all it needed wasn't some religion but someone to take care of you, to be there for you, and that what you do affects others? Someone you'd really care about? Hm.

Sounds like a normal post-pubertal development to me.

Almost like .. exactly what I have been through. Yap. Except for the marrying part - I already realised how my decisions would affect others when I made my mama cry. :(

ET Warrior
10-02-2007, 12:31 PM
Perhaps. One motive to turn to religion however might be to spite the unethical atheist.Because doing something out of spite is such a highly ethical behavior?

Achilles
10-02-2007, 12:46 PM
Because doing something out of spite is such a highly ethical behavior? Took the words right out of my mouth.

Ray Jones
10-02-2007, 03:49 PM
Quick!! Put them back in, ET. :P

Rogue Warrior
10-02-2007, 10:26 PM
Perhaps they are not thinking about being ethical, rather they see atheism as it had been portrayed to them as evil and seek shelter with those who are by default good, religion.

Jae Onasi
10-02-2007, 10:47 PM
Perhaps. One motive to turn to religion however might be to spite the unethical atheist.

Why would we want to waste time and energy on spite when we could be busy doing things like missions/helping run the homeless shelter in our church/helping at-risk kids with schoolwork and so forth? Of all the atheists/agnostics I've talked to about their conversion to faith (in this case Christianity), their reasons generally fell into 2 camps--1. They were on a self-destructive path empty of meaning, and Christ gave them the meaning in life they were looking for. 2. Something happened in their lives that allowed them to experience Christ's love, and they wanted a closer relationship with the divine.

Achilles
10-02-2007, 11:15 PM
2. Something happened in their lives that allowed them to experience Christ's love, and they wanted a closer relationship with the divine. Hmmm...how do they know that its wasn't the Flying Spaghetti Monster's love and they chose the wrong path? Luckily the FSM isn't a vengeful or jealous god, so he'll probably let them off the hook (...noodly appendage?) for their mistake.

Jae Onasi
10-02-2007, 11:20 PM
Aww, I'm so glad Flying Spaghetti Monster has a noodly...heart of some kind buried there in the sauce and meatballs. More protein for me when I have him for dinner tomorrow night. :D

Achilles
10-02-2007, 11:22 PM
Enjoy your meal.

You didn't answer my question though. We can use invisible pink unicorns or pagan gods if you would prefer. I think the question will still work.

Jae Onasi
10-02-2007, 11:35 PM
The question was just 'why do atheists become people of faith?' and I was sharing my friends' experiences. I don't know how they decided that Flying Spaghetti monster was not divine but God was, since we never spoke about pasta unless they were asking me for my lasagna recipe (which is quite good, but does not approach the Divine). That may be a more appropriate question for the theism/atheism thread, however, or possibly its own thread. I will say that something that is created, cooked up, and comes in a Chef Boy-ar-dee can is more like my idea of hell on earth rather than the Divine Creator of the Universe.

Achilles
10-02-2007, 11:45 PM
The question was just 'why do atheists become people of faith?' and I was sharing my friends' experiences. I don't know how they decided that Flying Spaghetti monster was not divine but God was, since we never spoke about pasta unless they were asking me for my lasagna recipe (which is quite good, but does not approach the Divine). But you said, quite definitively, that it was jesus' love. Surely you have good cause to speak so definitively. Or perhaps you could simply rephrase your statement.

That may be a more appropriate question for the theism/atheism thread, however, or possibly its own thread. But you posted your definitive statement about christianity here *confused*.

I will say that something that is created, cooked up, and comes in a Chef Boy-ar-dee can is more like my idea of hell on earth rather than the Divine Creator of the Universe.The Flying Spaghetti Monster is infinite. He existed before time, space, and processed meals from a can.

Jae Onasi
10-03-2007, 12:08 AM
But you said, quite definitively, that it was jesus' love. Surely you have good cause to speak so definitively. Or perhaps you could simply rephrase your statement.

But you posted your definitive statement about christianity here *confused*.

I said this: Of all the atheists/agnostics I've talked to about their conversion to faith (in this case Christianity), their reasons generally fell into 2 camps.... (emphasis mine). Where did I speak definitively where it was not specified as their reasons?


The Flying Spaghetti Monster is infinite. He existed before time, space, and processed meals from a can.Any god who can be squashed into a can and processed at high heat for consumption by 8 year olds doesn't qualify as existing before time and space.

Achilles
10-03-2007, 12:21 AM
I said this: (emphasis mine). Where did I speak definitively where it was not specified as their reasons? Fair enough. Next time you see "them", please let them know I have questions.

Any god who can be squashed into a can and processed at high heat for consumption by 8 year olds doesn't qualify as existing before time and space. He is divine pasta. He doesn't go into cans like mortal pasta. Apparently, you aren't familiar with The Gospel (http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Flying-Spaghetti-Monster/dp/0812976568?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180375352&sr=8-1). Besides, you can't prove that he didn't exist before time and space.

Rev7
10-03-2007, 12:22 AM
I agree, but shouldn't this go in the Atheism/ Theism thread?

Rogue Warrior
10-03-2007, 06:03 AM
Another way of looking at it is to see the way theists are and the way atheists are and choose one side or the other because of the way their stance is portrayed.

Jae Onasi
10-03-2007, 10:26 AM
Another way of looking at it is to see the way theists are and the way atheists are and choose one side or the other because of the way their stance is portrayed.

Faith, or lack thereof, is an extremely personal decision--I don't think people should be making a decision of that importance based on how a few individuals behave. There are good theists and atheists everywhere, and there are bad theists and atheists everywhere. If we expect perfect behavior out of either group, we are going to be sorely disappointed. Humans cannot be perfect, and if you base your decision for atheism/theism on how the worst people in that group behave, no group will ever meet your standards.

Rogue Warrior
10-03-2007, 06:42 PM
It might be wrong of me to think this way but my...faith? in atheism is somewhat shaken based on how some portray it, and on the other hand the way people, good people, portray religion has me thinking that maybe it is not so bad.

PoiuyWired
10-06-2007, 04:37 PM
Faith, or lack thereof, is an extremely personal decision--I don't think people should be making a decision of that importance based on how a few individuals behave. There are good theists and atheists everywhere, and there are bad theists and atheists everywhere. If we expect perfect behavior out of either group, we are going to be sorely disappointed. Humans cannot be perfect, and if you base your decision for atheism/theism on how the worst people in that group behave, no group will ever meet your standards.

Plus, there are different targets and degrees you can put your "faith" in. Different groups have different definitions, retionalities and "other" agendas.

Then again, technically people put "faith" in atheism too...

Rev7
10-06-2007, 04:41 PM
Point of view is important Poiuy. TECHNICALLY they do have faith, BUT I don't think that was what Jae was talking about. I may be wrong though, so forgive me if I am. :)

Achilles
10-06-2007, 06:12 PM
Then again, technically people put "faith" in atheism too...TECHNICALLY they do have faith <snip>
Please explain? Thanks in advance.

Rev7
10-11-2007, 11:15 PM
Well, I guess that you could say that atheists have faith that what they think is right, as do everybody else in there religions. Also, in school have you ever had faith that you would get an A on the test? If you break it down to everyday life, you WILL see that you and everybody else has faith in may things even if it has nothing to do with religion. That is what I mean by "Technically the do have faith" .

Achilles
10-12-2007, 12:23 AM
Well, I guess that you could say that atheists have faith that what they think is right, as do everybody else in there religions. An absence of evidence does not require faith. Do you have faith that there's no evidence for invisible pink unicorns or do you simply refuse to seriously consider their existence until someone provides you some evidence?

Also, in school have you ever had faith that you would get an A on the test? If you break it down to everyday life, you WILL see that you and everybody else has faith in may things even if it has nothing to do with religion. That is what I mean by "Technically the do have faith" . You mean like when I sit down to a meal I have faith that it hasn't been poisoned? Or when I get in my car, I start the ignition with faith that it hasn't been wired with a detonator and some explosives?

Sure. But those things could be empirically verified beforehand. I could test my food for poison before digging in. I could inspect my vehicle for explosives before getting inside.

Plus, I'm still not sure how even this tangential application of "faith" could be applied to atheism.

I appreciate you attempt at clarification though. Thank you for your response.

Totenkopf
10-12-2007, 01:10 AM
Unfortunately, we can't currently test for where everything in creation/existence actually came from (and probably never will), hence your faith that there is nothing/noone to believe in in the first place.

Rev7
10-12-2007, 08:20 PM
An absence of evidence does not require faith. Do you have faith that there's no evidence for invisible pink unicorns or do you simply refuse to seriously consider their existence until someone provides you some evidence?

You mean like when I sit down to a meal I have faith that it hasn't been poisoned? Or when I get in my car, I start the ignition with faith that it hasn't been wired with a detonator and some explosives?

Sure. But those things could be empirically verified beforehand. I could test my food for poison before digging in. I could inspect my vehicle for explosives before getting inside.

Plus, I'm still not sure how even this tangential application of "faith" could be applied to atheism.

I appreciate you attempt at clarification though. Thank you for your response.
Your welcome. What I was trying to say was that "TECHNICALLY" atheists do have an everyday faith, and that they have faith that what they believe in is the truth, which is that there is no God(s). By no means am I judging athiesists, it is just everybody in the world thinks that what they believe in (religiously)is right.

Achilles
10-12-2007, 08:42 PM
Your welcome. What I was trying to say was that "TECHNICALLY" atheists do have an everyday faith, and that they have faith that what they believe in is the truth, which is that there is no God(s). By no means am I judging athiesists, it is just everybody in the world thinks that what they believe in (religiously)is right. I already pointed out how this reasoning is flawed in my last response. You chose not to address my argument, which is fine, but I don't see how repeating your previous statement makes it any more accurate.

No faith is required for atheism because atheism makes no positive statement regarding the existence or non-existence of a god or gods.

Take care.

Rev7
10-13-2007, 02:45 AM
What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s). That is what I am trying to point out. I will not say anymore about this subject, thanks.

Emperor Devon
10-13-2007, 03:20 AM
What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s).

Your logic is fallacious. To require faith to not believe in a deity would require an absence of faith to believe in one. You cannot logically claim that to not have faith you must have it.

But for clarification, in case you've got your definitions mixed up... Faith = belief without direct proof. Reason = belief with direct proof or lack of belief in the absence of proof.

Do atheists consider themselves reasonable? Yes. Faithful? No. I hope that's cleared the matter up for you. :)

Rev7
10-13-2007, 03:32 AM
Your logic is fallacious. To require faith to not believe in a deity would require an absence of faith to believe in one. You cannot logically claim that to not have faith you must have it.

But for clarification, in case you've got your definitions mixed up... Faith = belief without direct proof. Reason = belief with direct proof or lack of belief in the absence of proof.

Do atheists consider themselves reasonable? Yes. Faithful? No. I hope that's cleared the matter up for you. :)
First of all I am not being decietful. Second I have already stated that i am not going to argue with anybody. I was only giving my opinion, not saying that what I believe is what everybody should believe. I was only trying to state what I believe in a peaceful manner. Thank you. :)

Achilles
10-13-2007, 04:01 AM
What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s). That is what I am trying to point out. I will not say anymore about this subject, thanks. Repeating it isn't going to make it true. ;)

mimartin
10-13-2007, 04:16 AM
By definition atheist can have faith in something or someone, such as a spouse or a political belief. However, by the same definition an atheist cannot have faith in there not being a God, unless there was logical proof that there was a God and they still had believed there was not.

I have faith and I will still willingly admit there is no logical proof of his/her existence. That is why it is called faith.

Rogue Warrior
10-13-2007, 04:58 AM
How about converting because people need something more than perhaps a negative godless view has to offer?

Achilles
10-13-2007, 05:18 AM
How about converting because people need something more than perhaps a negative godless view has to offer? Pssst! Hey! Nancy! You're supposed to be an atheist now, remember?!

Converting to what? Christianity? Islam? Paganism? Pastafarianism?

And what is a "negative godless view"? Negative godless view of what? And how does it differ from a "positive godless view"?

Thanks in advance.

Ray Jones
10-13-2007, 05:39 AM
I'd like to know that too.

Totenkopf
10-13-2007, 05:53 AM
Well, since the dictionary game seems to be quite popular here......

Main Entry: 1faith
Pronunciation: \ˈfāth\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural faiths \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāthz\
Etymology: Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust — more at bide
Date: 13th century
1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>

.....soooo, in essence, it's quite possible for an athiest to have faith.....just not in God or gods. End of discussion.

Ray Jones
10-13-2007, 10:57 AM
And here I am thinking this is clearly about religious faith, and why atheists possibly might feel the need to turn to it and against reason - instead of some finickiness about atheists being able to have faith or to believe that their socks will smell when filled with dog poo. :¬:


What I am trying to say for the third time is that atheists have a faith, or more commonly know as knowing that they are right, that there is no God(s).Wrong and wrong and wrong. Atheists do not know that there is no god. They know they have no valid and testable proof for the existence any god. BIG difference. Also, for that there is no 'faith' needed.


By definition atheist can have faith in something or someoneI'm wondering where the definition of 'atheist' contains anything among the lines of "atheists can have faith".

Jediphile
10-13-2007, 11:19 AM
Wrong and wrong and wrong. Atheists do not know that there is no god. They know they have no valid and testable proof for the existence any god. BIG difference. Also, for that there is no 'faith' needed.

I'm wondering where the definition of 'atheist' contains anything among the lines of "atheists can have faith".

Oh I don't know... I think a case can be made for arguing that atheists have a belief in the sense that they believe there is no god.

After all, atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no God. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheism)

Care should be taken not to confuse an atheist with an agnostic, which means a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic)

While the two may seem similar on the surface, to me it looks like an agnostic doesn't believe that we can know whether god exists or not, and maybe even that it doesn't matter anyway, while an atheist actively believes with conviction and certainty that there is no god.

I could be wrong, mind you, but that's how I interpret it.

And the two are not the same, albeit the distinction may be irrelevant or inconsequential to a religious person, especially if that person is so strong in his or her beliefs, that all non-believers are thrown into the same category.

Samuel Dravis
10-13-2007, 12:43 PM
Or you could pick the definition of atheism that says it's simply a lack of belief in the existence of gods. This may fit better the people who find that knowledge - or at least evidence of - of such gods is possible but unlikely (and non-existent at the moment). Agnosticism means you're not sure presently, while an atheist as I describe can be quite sure of their experiences while accepting the possibility that they could be wrong with some of their inferences. Thus, their statement "there is no gods" can be quite true when it is based on their experience, and the agnosticism label would have the unacceptable implication that they aren't aware of their own experiences.

I do agree with you, Jediphile, that the hardline atheists who definitively state "there is no god" have faith in their incredible assumption that they have knowledge of everything. In my opinion, these atheists are as far removed from the atheists I talked about above as the hardcore religious. For convenience these two types are generally called "strong" and "weak" atheists, as they share nothing except the idea that there are no gods (and even that, one holds tentatively while the other definitively).

It is well to note the difference between the two, because if theists do not they run the risk of setting up an argument for a non-existent opponent! ;)

Jediphile
10-13-2007, 01:56 PM
What would you calls someone who doesn't know if god exists, but also doesn't care because he or she thinks that whether god exists or not doesn't matter, since it has no bearing or matters in any way to his or her existence?

Samuel Dravis
10-13-2007, 02:58 PM
Well, I guess if that person didn't care enough to form an opinion one way or another about it, I'd have to call them some variant of agnosticism (they are not claiming to have knowledge of whether gods exist or not, just that it doesn't matter to them).

I'm not sure how someone could hold that position, however. The idea of god necessarily entails some degree of influence by it, even if they were to hold a non-personal view of god. If they said they knew that the influence of a god is equivalent to that of no god, I'd wonder how they know so much about what gods do, especially since they've said already they don't even know if gods exist. My offhand guess is that they wouldn't have an answer for me. :p

Jediphile
10-13-2007, 04:03 PM
Well, I guess if that person didn't care enough to form an opinion one way or another about it, I'd have to call them some variant of agnosticism (they are not claiming to have knowledge of whether gods exist or not, just that it doesn't matter to them).

I'm not sure how someone could hold that position, however. The idea of god necessarily entails some degree of influence by it, even if they were to hold a non-personal view of god. If they said they knew that the influence of a god is equivalent to that of no god, I'd wonder how they know so much about what gods do, especially since they've said already they don't even know if gods exist. My offhand guess is that they wouldn't have an answer for me. :p

I guess the obvious response to that is how a person can hold any sort of knowledge of god's existence given that - by definition - believing in god is belief and not knowledge. There is no proof of god, and so it seems impossible to say factually that he (or she or it) exists. If there was proof, there would be no discussion, but also no faith. And it would be equally valid to ask how people of faith know so much about god that they know he exists.

In most cases religious people tend to base this on how they feel the presence of god. Fair enough. But then it would seem equally valid for someone to feel the absence of a higher being, or even that this being's existence has no influence on this person's life, wouldn't it?

For example, I may quite willingly accept that there are people who are smarter or more powerful than me (or both, for that matter). In that sense they could be considered higher beings. But do they matter to my life for that reason? No. So what do they matter to me (directly, I mean, not in the sense that I won't care if something bad happens to them or won't feel for them)?

Ray Jones
10-13-2007, 05:17 PM
Hm.. let's see --

Weak atheism: the weak atheist is not convinced that there are gods. The existence of gods is not necessarily denied, there is just the statement that there is no objective and rational reason to believe in the existence of any god.

Strong atheism: the strong atheist is convinced there are no gods. The existence of gods is clearly denied.

Agnosticism is basically the idea that we cannot prove or disprove the existence of higher beings or gods, strong agnosticism categorical denies the possibility to ever do so, while weak agnosticism states it is not yet possible.


What would you calls someone who doesn't know if god exists, but also doesn't care because he or she thinks that whether god exists or not doesn't matter, since it has no bearing or matters in any way to his or her existence?I think that refers to ignosticism or igtheism.


I'm not sure how someone could hold that position, however. The idea of god necessarily entails some degree of influence by it, even if they were to hold a non-personal view of god. If they said they knew that the influence of a god is equivalent to that of no god, I'd wonder how they know so much about what gods do, especially since they've said already they don't even know if gods exist. My offhand guess is that they wouldn't have an answer for me.I have an answer, and I put it into some small graphic once:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v93/RayJones/raymeetgod.png

Rogue Warrior
10-13-2007, 05:51 PM
People turn to atheism because they see the church as rotten, the whole god thing is too illogical, a religion of peace has caused so much harm in the world, correct? Atheists are not life time members. They may question the morality they see in other atheists, feel they do not want to be wrong (Pascal's Wager) or feel atheism is a downer looking at the world through cold, logical, the world is small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone' eyes and seek more out of life.

Ray Jones
10-13-2007, 06:10 PM
They may question the morality they see in other atheistsNot more than I may question the morality of anybody else.

feel they do not want to be wrongSo, with atheism, I'd be wrong? How could I miss that fact? Also, what's wrong with being wrong?

feel atheism is a downer looking at the world through cold, logical, the world is small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone' eyes and seek more out of life.Not quite sure, does that mean the world isn't "small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone" and only non-atheists are able to see that, or is it that the world is "small, nasty, complicated and everybody dies alone" and everybody but the atheist is denying that?

Rogue Warrior
10-13-2007, 06:19 PM
What is wrong with being wrong? The atheist might begin to get scared of what might await them when they die, and seek to make amends before it is too late. Of course this is purely speculation. As for whether you have to be religious to turn away from the harsh realities of the world, no I do not think that. What I am saying is that for some they may need religion as sort of a crutch to help them in life.

Samuel Dravis
10-13-2007, 09:21 PM
I guess the obvious response to that is how a person can hold any sort of knowledge of god's existence given that - by definition - believing in god is belief and not knowledge. There is no proof of god, and so it seems impossible to say factually that he (or she or it) exists. If there was proof, there would be no discussion, but also no faith. And it would be equally valid to ask how people of faith know so much about god that they know he exists.Sure, I agree. Of course, you run into this problem with any kind of knowledge, so it just means that you can't state "god exists" as something undoubtedly true.

In most cases religious people tend to base this on how they feel the presence of god. Fair enough. But then it would seem equally valid for someone to feel the absence of a higher being, or even that this being's existence has no influence on this person's life, wouldn't it?For people with different experiences, they may well draw different (and completely correct!) logical conclusions. That's not necessarily a problem with the method, that's a problem with not being omniscient. :p

For example, I may quite willingly accept that there are people who are smarter or more powerful than me (or both, for that matter). In that sense they could be considered higher beings. But do they matter to my life for that reason? No. So what do they matter to me (directly, I mean, not in the sense that I won't care if something bad happens to them or won't feel for them)?Well, I think your analogy probably doesn't apply to a creator god, given that the very act of creation would be a not insignificant influence. Also, typical conceptions of God by many religions consist of it having the perfections of goodness, etc., and the knowledge of how to be a better person is a highly attractive thought. Indeed, if you were to not to try to find out what this god wanted given that you knew it existed, I would consider you liable for your immorality (as clearly it would be a chosen attribute instead of a result of ignorance). There are other similar reasons why a god would matter a great deal to you personally, even if it didn't interact with you specifically.

Jae Onasi
10-13-2007, 09:39 PM
Agnosticism is basically the idea that we cannot prove or disprove the existence of higher beings or gods, strong agnosticism categorical denies the possibility to ever do so, while weak agnosticism states it is not yet possible.


Yes, the only thing you have to prove is that you don't know. :)