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Old 08-29-2007, 09:19 PM   #1
Totenkopf
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Why do atheists become people of faith?

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He's also a recovered atheist....
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"?

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Old 08-29-2007, 09:22 PM   #2
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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.


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Old 08-29-2007, 09:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
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?

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Originally Posted by Arcesious
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.



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Old 08-29-2007, 09:30 PM   #4
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i didn't mean that intellectual people would come back to it in the way you interpreted my post.


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Old 08-30-2007, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
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."

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Old 08-30-2007, 01:00 AM   #6
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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.



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Old 08-30-2007, 01:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
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? j/k

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Old 08-30-2007, 01:18 AM   #8
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I wanted to say it in more words so I looked smarter



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Old 08-30-2007, 01:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jvstice
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.

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Originally Posted by Jvstice
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).
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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?
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jvstice
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.

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Originally Posted by Jvstice
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.

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

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Originally Posted by Jvstice
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.

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Originally Posted by Jvstice
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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:09 AM   #14
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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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 05:14 AM   #15
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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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 06:16 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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*



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Old 08-30-2007, 08:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mur'phon
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?


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Old 08-30-2007, 08:46 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:10 AM   #20
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That's not exactly theism then, I'd say.


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Old 08-30-2007, 09:11 AM   #21
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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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 10:26 AM   #22
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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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
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.



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Old 08-30-2007, 11:06 AM   #24
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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 ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jvstice
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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:23 AM   #25
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Jvstice & jonathan7,

With respect to Jae's post, I'll be responding to your messages in the atheist/theist thread.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:27 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 11:27 AM   #27
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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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:01 PM   #29
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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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 12:04 PM   #30
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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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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.

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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
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.

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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
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
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:32 PM   #32
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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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:36 PM   #33
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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.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:40 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:25 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
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.

Last edited by PoiuyWired; 08-30-2007 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:35 PM   #36
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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)


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Old 08-30-2007, 06:10 PM   #37
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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.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:37 PM   #38
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Quote:
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!

Quote:
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?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:38 PM   #39
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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.


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Old 08-30-2007, 10:39 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
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.

Quote:
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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.'


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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