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thread: Atheism/Agnosticism General Discussion #1

  1. #1
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Atheism/Agnosticism General Discussion #1

    Here you go ladies and gents... enjoy

    Kelly xx

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  2. #2
    paradise lost Guest

    But Bath people who are athiest DO have a conscience, so clearly belief in God is not a precursor for it. All children do NOT recognise what is fair and what is not. A toddler feels it is not fair if they don't get their own way, they do not look at fairness overall, only fairness towards them. Which is the same as Orwell's pigs - all animals are equal but some are MORE equal.

    Morality isn't global, it is a learned social code, which we gain in early childhood from observing how people around us interact with us and others. This is why in some countries a man who beats his wife is cruel and in others a man who does NOT beat his wife is remiss. Conscience itself is a construct of our social relationships which allows whichever particular society we are in to continue to function. If we don't fit in we get ostracised and we die (safety in numbers) thus we "behave" in order to remain acceptable to our peers and get to stay in the family/village/group. In addition one can damage a child through upbringing or physiology so that they DON'T have a conscience, which we discussed on another thread.

    I just don't see where belief in God is necessary for moral worth. I know plenty of holier-than-thou types who are in their own eyes deeply religious - yes, they think God is better than man, but they think they are better than everyone who doesn't share their beliefs too. I also know some people who would do anything for someone in need, give you the shirt off their back, who have no belief in a god at all.

    Your faith drives you to believe we did not ivent the "rule" of fairness because you think God did. I don't think that's true. I think it is a natural consequence of the sort of complex society humankind operates in. It's the same as the pecking order in any other group of animals - removed from the group the animals remain the same - an alpha animal will always try to lead, an omega animal will always obey. These behaviours make our lives easier as social animals.

    I think it's taking it a bit far to say "There is no God = Life has no meaning"! There can be plenty of meaning in life, love, children, happiness, community, without God being necessarily relevant. Athiests are not automatically nihilists as well. C.S.Lewis was an aggressively Christian man - i have found several quotes on religious belief by famous athiests but they would be viewed as inflammatory as they denounce the beliefs of others.

    Bec

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007
    6,900

    Hmm...this discussion never really did get going. And I was so looking forward to stalking it and finding out about why people are atheist/agnostic (still not sure I even know what it means).
    Maybe a question will get it going?

    I would like to know...how come you choose not to believe in a God or anything?

    I asked this of my DH who doesn't quite believe in anything yet, but as we talk more about it I think he's changing his mind. He's just never really thought about it before. For me I think no harm comes if I do believe and I think I get more out of believing than not. But that's just my opinion, I would like to hear the other side of the story!
    Last edited by Heaven; April 28th, 2008 at 07:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Melbourne
    6,745

    SaraJane, interesting question But I think it is more interesting in the way that you have asked it - ie. how come you choose not to believe in God?

    I don't think you can "choose" a belief per se, I don't choose NOT to believe, I just don't believe. The whole God concept just doesn't strike a chord with me. Put it another way, did you choose to believe in God or do you just believe?

    I have been christened and confirmed and been to a religious school but at the end of all that it wasn't something that I could honestly say I believed in. Personally I feel that I am a good person, I have a high moral code and have values that I believe in and live by. I am compassionate, caring and do things for people and other living things. I respect the earth and try to do my bit in keeping it alive. I don't think I am missing anything in my life by not believing in a God.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007
    6,900

    hmm...interesting Nai, I didn't think about how I worded it.
    I've never really thought about it but actually I would have to say yes I did choose to believe. It would sometimes be easier not to believe when life seems unfair and bad things happen to me. But I chose to believe and find out more about it, and pray, etc. iykwim?

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2007
    Where Chaos is fun and plentiful!!!!
    1,883

    Hello everyone!! Beware... crazy lady entering the discussion!!!!:P

    I havent had a read of the first thread here, so i will leave hoobley and bath to their discussion (i have some thoughts... but i will till after i have read all that has been said)
    So i will begin by having a burl at Sara Janes question....

    Speaking for myself only, its not that i dont beleive in "A" God, i do beleive something or someone is out there, just not this dude that catholics and other religions go on about.
    Mainly because all these differing groups all claim to talk about the same thing or person (god)- yet they all have something different to say about him, (while all very loosly the same)
    So i CAN NOT find anywhere in my heart and soul that can decide what to beleive about it all. Does that make sense??? Yet i beleive in something, i find that a fact that is undenialble... i just am at a loss as to who or what to beleive.


    So in a sense, i feel i have the truth to loose if i just decide one day to say i beleive in a christian god, or a jewish god, or which ever god feels right to me on the day.

    I feel like I could be making a bigger stuff up in his/her eyes by jumping on the wrong band wagon instead of plodding along as i do, trying to have decent human morals (back to the other convo...) and with a sense of bleief in a higher power who will guide me to where i need to be. I make sure i thank nature and i ask for things when i need them, i give to those in need.
    I dont read a bible, i dont go to a church, but i beleive i have reached the summit of my spritualness just by being me and listening to my heart. Coz that is my connection with the higher world, always has been, always will be.

    Showing my ignorance now though... does that actually make me NOT athiest or agnostic???? Just weird?????? LOL

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Melbourne
    6,745

    It's really hard to explain but if I chose to believe then I would feel hypocritical as I really don't believe deep down in my heart. I would feel that I really wasn't being true to myself. I think that there are people who have the capacity to believe in them and people who don't - I am one of the ones who don't.

    I don't disbelieve that there is a higher power but then again I don't disbelieve that there are aliens out there. I just don't believe in them - I hope that makes sense.

  8. #8
    Administrator
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    Jun 2003
    Ubiquity
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    Starbright I would say that definitely makes you agnostic. Not weird at all Great posts guys.

    I will ask one thing though, we do ask that people do not question another persons belief system within these forums as it can be offensive to some. Please be careful how you word your posts so that it does not come across as questioning in anyway. It is perfectly ok to ask about what a persons belief include but questioning the faith in itself is something we ask our members to avoid.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2007
    Where Chaos is fun and plentiful!!!!
    1,883

    Yay Nilac, Im finally something!!!! LoL

    Seriously though... is that what agnostic is? Beleiving in something but not quite knowing what???? I have never quite known how to classify my beliefs before.. i usually say i am spiritual, but not of one religion, yet hinging slightly on paganism... so now i can say i am agnostic!! Much easier!!!

  10. #10
    Administrator
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    Agnostic basically means you don't define your belief system by a specific deity or god, it doesn't have to be specific to christian god. And if you get technical there are such people known as agnostic pagans. Those who believe in the rituals and beliefs but refuse to designate that belief to any one diety (or 2 or 5 )
    Last edited by Rouge; April 27th, 2008 at 12:33 PM.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2007
    Where Chaos is fun and plentiful!!!!
    1,883

    Wow, you learn something new everyday. Thanks

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007
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    Ok Nai, I get what you mean now! So I just have the capacity as well as the will to believe? Whereas my DH kinda wants to believe but he doesn't really yet, he's the type of person who is really skeptical about everything and needs like solid proof whereas I'm more the kind of person who will believe without evidence, which also makes me quite gullible at times, rofl. One way isn't right or wrong, just different types of ppl.

    Starbright, I can't remember what atheist and agnostic means but I think one of them is where you believe in something you just don't know what it is? Or that you don't know if there is a God or not so you don't believe He exists but you don't believe He doesn't exist. haha, I don't know if that makes any sense but maybe you're that one, whichever one it is. Maybe someone else knows. I think I'll google now.

    ETA- lol, by the time I typed it the question has been answered for me, now I understand, thanks!

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Melbourne
    6,745

    You put it better than I did but that's just my personal opinion and I'm sure other people see it differently.

  14. #14
    Administrator
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    I guess the way I see Agnostic is as someone who believes in a greater power but it is nameless and not specific to any religion.

    Whereas with Atheist they don't believe in any god or gods. "Anti-Theism"

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member
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    I grew up in a completely non-religious family and DH grew up in a Catholic family. Neither of us believe in god in any shape or form (DH especially not). Our wedding ceremony was non-religious and our children will not be christened (unless they later choose to). I did however grow up learning about ALL religions - which I do find facinating - my Dad (even though he is not religious) taught us the importance of learning about all cultures and their religions and I will do the same with my children. My children will be free to explore their own spirituality without anyone pushing them.

    I think that religions do teach good morals and values and I have taken bits and pieces from the lessons my Dad gave me - the lessons that Kabbalah, Buddism and Hinduism teach are quite profound. But I don't believe in one specific person or entity that makes the world go round. I think people and humanity make the world go round and that we need to have more faith in OURSELVES. If we achieve something we thank God. If somebody hurts us we ask God why. I think we need to take more credit for our actions and accept more responsibility for our wrong doings.

    So in my view, religions of all cultures all have valid points and I respect the core values that these religions teach. I do not, however, believe that a God decides our fate. We do this ourselves and we should celebrate that we, as humans, are an amazing species, in our own right.

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Mar 2007
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    I think DH is agnostic then. He kinda believes there might be a greater power but has no proof of what it is?

    I'm sorry if the question offended anyone too. I didn't word it very well at all. I just wanted to know why people believe what they do but didn't want to imply that anyone's beliefs were right or wrong, I'm just a little nosey, lol.

  17. #17
    BellyBelly Member
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    I also do not think morality is necessarily apart of any particular religion. Even though I am an Athiest/Humanist I am an incredibly moral person and just because I am not religious/spiritual that does not leave me devoid of the common morals and values that most christians live by. Just because I reject the notion of a God does not mean that I do not hold the common and complex morals or values. My dad always taught me to admire those who strive to be good human beings because they believe that is the way it should be - not out of fear of hell. There is no spiritual gain involved - it is more selfless to want to be a good human being out of a want for a better life rather than a need for fear of the afterlife.

    I think it is worth stating that in MY opinion, to me, striving to be a good human being while we are alive is far more noble than striving to be a good human being for when we are dead.
    Last edited by Aimz; April 28th, 2008 at 06:26 AM.

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW
    6,975

    I totally agree you can have a strong set of morals and not be religious. For me personally though if I didn't believe in a greater consciousness/God then i wouldn't have a reason to think about my "stance" on a lot of issues. My God is a challenging God... He demands I think about things in a way that take me way outside my comfort zone. I am not lured by Heaven. To be honest I am scared of Heaven because it's not going to be what I want it to be. God is using no "carrot" on me... just for the record

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