Are Theists Afraid of Change?

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boomer47's picture
@Algebe

@Algebe

"Well who can know what the Bible is really meant to say."

According to them, only members of the priestly caste .----and of course televangelists . Although I never realised it from my own readings, seems god is in constant need of LOTS of money,

About 40 years ago,I formed the opinion that organised religion is the greatest confidence trick ever perpetrated on the human race.
It goes back at least 5000 years to the priest of Amun in Egypt.

I don't think religious /spiritual beliefs for an individual are necessarily a con. Such beliefs can meet some important human needs.

The con is when humans are fooled into believing that they absolutely MUST have an intermediary between them and their god(s) to intercede with high power prayers and sacrifices.

In my opinion, the disciplines of apologetics, biblical hermeneutics and exegesis are all part of the con ;it is their combined job to explain why the bible seldom if ever means exactly what it says. With these practices organised religions always controls the narrative ,which of course means they always control their sheep. Of course such folks will hasten to explain that 'sheep' doesn't mean what I think it means. IE for a human; stupid, ignorant, naive, gullible and easily led.

Calilasseia's picture
It seems that most of those

It seems that most of those responding here do so from the heart.

Poppycock. the heart is nothing more than a pump.

If you're suggesting that the responses here are the product of emotion rather than reason, then state that, instead of waffling. Then we can point to numerous instances in which scientific papers were brought here to refute mythology fanboy assertions. At which point, we're dealing with reason, not emotion. Bye bye to the first of your assertions.

And not from their intellect.

What about those of us who brought scientific papers here, to establish the case in question? Oh, you don't have an answer to that, do you?

Or at least the heart misguides the intellect.

You just summed up mythology fanboyism.

They have some deep personal abhorrence to religion, seemingly to Christianity as a whole

What part of "we have a large body of observational data, pointing to the malign influence of mythology fanboyism" do you not understand?

Everything from the attempts by creationists to corrupt and pervert science education, through the stifling of medical research for spurious reasons, to the attempts to warp the operation of civil society itself to conform to mythological fantasy. Oh, and the current Coronavirus episode is providing us with much dark humour with respect to mythology fanboy responses thereto.

and they refuse to look at the evidence and remember what the Bible says about God

Your mythology doesn't contain evidence, it contains blind assertions. Lots of them. But I'm now tiresomely familiar with the inability of mythology fanboys to distinguish correctly between the two.

in favor for what their fellow humans have done that is wrong.

Except that if the assertions of your mythology were something other than the product of the rectal passages of pre-scientific goat herders, then we would observe entirely different behaviour on the part of mythology fanboys like you. Indeed, if the assertions of your mythology were something other than made up shit, science as we know it would be impossible. I'll let you ponder a little on why this is the case, and see if you're capable of deducing the requisite conclusion from first principles.

I don't think anyone in their right mind would reject the hand of someone who is so unselfish and loving as the Bible has portrayed to be.

Actually, several of us here are on record as wishing mythology fanboys behaved more like your magic man (at least, in the NT incarnation - to quote Lewis Black, the OT version was a prick).

They only think that what the Bible says, is a lie. It can't be true. Why is this? Because man can't be trusted. And since man to them is the one that wrote the Bible, God must be a made up mythical being, who is in the work of hurting and killing them.

Ahem, put down the mythology goggles for a moment, and look at the real world as it actually is.

If you were presented with any other body of text, that contained demonstrably wrong and absurd assertions about the universe and its contents, assertions that have repeatedly been falsified by honest, diligent scientific inquiry, would you accept that text as a reliable source of knowledge? Of course you wouldn't. So why do you treat a goat herder mythology containing risible errors as some fantastic gift from an invisible magic man?

Here's a clue for you. Any entity GENUINELY responsible for fabricating a universe and its contents, one moreover asserted to be intent upon presenting a "message" to us humans, would subject any text attributed to it, to ruthless proofreading, to weed out errors of the sort that litter your mythology. Even more so, in the light of the assertion that said entity purportedly possesses "perfect foreknowledge" of the future, and as a corollary of that assertion, would know in advance that said errors would be alighted upon by humans, and regarded as bringing the provenance of the requisite mythology into question.

Indeed, why would a fantastically gifted magic entity of this sort, even bother with mythology at all, as a vehicle for its purported "message", given the manifest unreliability of mythology as an informative medium?

You have no answer to any of this.

Tin-Man's picture
@Gerald Re: "It seems that

@Gerald Re: "It seems that most of those responding here do so from the heart."

Not true. I respond from my ass. The biggest problem, though, is when the crayon breaks off partially up in there as I type. I lose a lot of crayons that way.

Whitefire13's picture
Tin”nakedass”man...

Tin”nakedass”man...

Thanks, asshole for adding that! You’ve removed yourself from my “male fantasy list”...

Edited to add: check out around the 70s posts in “Atheism vs Agnosticism”

David Killens's picture
@ Gerald

@ Gerald

"It seems that most of those responding here do so from the heart. And not from their intellect. Or at least the heart misguides the intellect."

It is emotion and "faith" that draws theists. I was a practicing theist for my first nineteen years, and through skeptical thinking and examination (science) I dispelled the emotional grip that convinced me a god existed. Emotions definitely did not sway me into becoming an atheist, but the reverse, it was science and rational thought that dispelled the unfounded and unproven god myths.

Gerald, this is simple. If you can provide evidence of a god, I will believe it exists.

So, please provide the evidence. You are the one making the god claim, the floor is yours.

Cognostic's picture
Oh FUCK!!! Who went fishing

Oh FUCK!!! Who went fishing and caught this gerald thing? Can we throw it back or is someone planning on having it stuffed and mounted?

Apollo's picture
Andromeda,

Andromeda,
Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein were all theists of various sorts. So theist scientists were responsible for much of the change in science. Seems to be a dearth of atheists among the greats of science.
Ancient theists used to believe the earth was flat, they now believe it is a sphere. If you listen to too much atheist propaganda, you get a skewed perspective.

Lawrence Krauss an outspoken atheist, in one of his interviews claimed "religion doesn't change" and that's the mark of religion. But later in the same video Krauss cited a study which showed theists had changed in the UK. So the research he cited undermined his claim theists don't change. He seems to be a very mixed up man.

I'm quite skeptical of the view that theists don't change, but atheists do change. Doesn't have the ring of truth to it. If an atheist didn't change for his whole life, that is remained an atheist, would that make him religious according to Krauss's definition? I don't buy into his definition, nor the claim theists don't change.

Sheldon's picture
Apollo "ndromeda,

Apollo "ndromeda,
Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein were all theists of various sorts. "

During eras when everyone was a theist you mean, that's insanely funny.

Apollo So theist scientists were responsible for much of the change in science. Seems to be a dearth of atheists among the greats of science.

All modern hydraulic suspension, alloy wheels, and pneumatic radial tyres were derived from solid wooden wheels and axles, so your imbecilic rationale implies the former is now dead as the latter is superior. I've said it before, and I will say it again, you are funny.

Apollo "I'm quite skeptical of the view that theists don't change, .......If an atheist didn't change for his whole life, that is remained an atheist,"

Now that is fucking hilarious, theists can remain theists and according to you are capable of change, but limiting atheists to just their lack of belief in one unevidenced superstition represents no capacity for change unless they become theists, it's so dishonest I want to object, but it's so hilariously stupid I'm too busy laughing.

Kudos, as I have to assume you were being ironic...

Edited...clarity and typos

Calilasseia's picture
Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo,

Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein were all theists of various sorts

The first four were "theists" in an era when failing to make the right noises about Mr Invisible Magic Man in public, led to a one way trip to an Inqusitional dungeon. If you were surrounded by homicidal enforcers of conformity to doctrine, I suspect you'd be circumspect about such matters too.

As for Einstein, hoo boy, you're well wide of the mark there, courtesy of this famous letter that Einstein wrote to a fellow physicist, Eric Gutkind, in 1954, the full text of which, upon translation from German to English, reads as follows (emphases mine):

Princeton, 3. 1. 1954

Dear Mr Gutkind,

Inspired by Brouwer's repeated suggestion, I read a great deal in your book, and thank you very much for lending it to me. What struck me was this: with regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common. Your personal ideal with its striving for freedom from ego-oriented desires, for making life beautiful and noble, with an emphasis on the purely human element. This unites us as having an "unAmerican attitude."

Still, without Brouwer's suggestion I would never have gotten myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this for me. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong, and whose thinking I have a deep affinity for, have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything "chosen" about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolization. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior. What separates us are only intellectual "props" and "rationalization" in Freud's language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

With friendly thanks and best wishes,

Yours,

A. Einstein

Ancient theists used to believe the earth was flat

Ahem, some of them did. Several of us who paid attention in class, are well aware that, for example, Aristarchus of Samos measured the circumference of the Earth to within 1% of the modern value back in 300 BCE or thereabouts.

they now believe it is a sphere.

No, they recognise that the Earth is approximately an oblate spheroid, on the basis of DATA informing all of us thus. This isn't a matter of "belief".

I do wish mythology fanboys would learn the correct distinctions applicable here.

If you listen to too much atheist propaganda, you get a skewed perspective.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

As opposed to the "skewed perspective" of thinking a cartoon magic man exists, just because a mythology says so?

Lawrence Krauss an outspoken atheist, in one of his interviews claimed "religion doesn't change" and that's the mark of religion. But later in the same video Krauss cited a study which showed theists had changed in the UK. So the research he cited undermined his claim theists don't change. He seems to be a very mixed up man.

Actually, if you paid attention properly here, you would know that he was pointing in the first instance to mythological assertions upon which religions are based, which manifestly don't change. Second, theists in the UK haven't changed their adherence to mythological assertions substantively, but they have changed their approach thereto, in the face of real world data forcing said change, and in that respect, at least exhibit some regard for real world data, even if they don't take the final leap.

Seems like the "skewed perspective" here comes not from "atheist propaganda", but from mythology fanboyism.

I'm quite skeptical of the view that theists don't change, but atheists do change.

What part of "we discard assertions when real world data tells us to" do you not understand?

Doesn't have the ring of truth to it.

Take off your mythology goggles.

If an atheist didn't change for his whole life, that is remained an atheist

Oh dear ... cue misrepresentations and canards in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

would that make him religious according to Krauss's definition?

Oh, please, this is lame even by the usual dreadful standards of mythology fanboy fabrication.

Krauss wasn't providing a definition of theism, merely an observation of the nature of mythological assertions that theists adhere to. What part of this elementary concept do you not understand?

I don't buy into his definition, nor the claim theists don't change.

That's because your comprehension of his output is woefully wide of the mark.

And once again, we see yet another example of how mythology fanboyism addles the brain, to the point where mythology fanboys need spoon-feeding with even elementary concepts. Concepts that those of us who paid attention in class learned early on, and can now derive from first principles if need be.

Cognostic's picture
@C: Thanks for that letter.

@C: Thanks for that letter. You may see it again as it is mine now. I saved it and put it with my religious stuff on my desktop. Can't count the number of times I have heard Christians cite Einstein as a deist. I have seen short quotes before but never this letter. GREAT! Thanks for your time and effort!

FievelJ's picture
If you are talking Christians

If you are talking Christians then (no). They will never except the idea their god doesn't exist.

Should have said yes, they are afraid.

boomer47's picture
@Fievel

@Fievel

"Should have said yes, they are afraid."

I'm sure that's true for many.

For many it's a case or purblind wilful ignorance, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, or any combination.

FievelJ's picture
@cranky47

@cranky47

I'm not ignorant, there's too many gods in this world, so I dropped off of believing in any of them. I wasn't an atheist all my life but should have been. All I had to do is open my mind and learn that there's too many gods in this world. (The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman.)
I love how it sounds, would love to see a few episodes.

Lion IRC's picture
A lot of strong atheists

A lot of strong atheists become Christians.
And many waivering Christians become atheists.

But eventually belief in God becomes permanent.

Tin-Man's picture
@Lionfishy Re: "A lot of

@Lionfishy Re: "A lot of strong atheists become Christians.
And many waivering Christians become atheists. But eventually belief in God becomes permanent."

Oh, wow! That is SO deeply profound! Magnificent!... *staring in awe*... Here, let me try...

A lot of Christians get herpes. A lot of Christians don't get herpes. But eventually herpes becomes permanent.

Hey, that's kinda fun!... *happy face*... Thank you, Lion! You inspire me.

boomer47's picture
@lion

@lion

You've become a poe. I read what seems like satire and it turns out you seem to be sincere.

"But eventually belief in God becomes permanent."

I guess that doesn't include the millions of people who found themselves no longer able to believe the exaggerated promises, false claims and bald faced lies of organised religion----- starting with most of our members..

Religious beliefs are purely an accident of birth for most people. Had you been born in Saudi Arabia, I have no doubt you would be a devout Wahabbi Muslim .

Religious belief is about faith, not reason or facts. Most of us absorb our religious views and zeitgeist uncritically, before the age of 7. It is my opinion that most people rarely of ever question their basic beliefs about religion or the world generally. Such beliefs tend to be' permanent'' as in lasting a lifetime .Imo trying to change such beliefs threatens a person's sense of identity, so the reaction can be extreme. .

As is shown here daily, [mainly by our resident apologists] firmly held beliefs are incredibly hard to dislodge, no matter how absurd or odious to reason. However, the same can be said for most strongly held positions. Nothing to do with god, and everything to do with the psychological aspects of such beliefs; cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias and of course wilful ignorance.

Atheists are a relatively small minority of world population. I think that shows that religious beliefs tend to be life long.

"IF you could reason with religious people there wouldn't be any" (Greg House)

" Beware of the true believe; at best naive, at worst, dangerous" (Tarquin St John Shagnasty)

Cognostic's picture
LION: RE: "A lot of strong

LION: RE: "A lot of strong atheists become Christian."

I'm actually going to agree with you on this one. Let's use the proper words thought. "Anti-theists."

Many "Anti-theists" people who believe there is no God or god and who hate religions are doing so out of spite towards their parents, towards the system, or simply to avoid going to church every Sunday. They really don't understand atheism or skepticism. They take a stance against god based on anger and this will support them in their belief for years.

We hear people like this saying things like "I was an atheist for years. I hated religion. Then I was saved."

THIS IS NOT A NO TRUE ATHEIST FALLACY: I will not assert that no true atheist has ever become religious. At the same time, I do see a lot of people who once professed to be atheist, who are now professing Christians, who know NOTHING AT ALL ABOUT ATHEISM. You would think that if they were once atheists they would at least have a basic understanding of what an atheist is. AND THEY DON'T.

This is actually one of the reasons I challenge some of the new atheists that come onto the site who say things like "THERE IS NO GOD!" To make that assertion, you have adopted a burden of proof. Can you build a logical and rational case or are you just speaking from anger. I know a few folks around here that can build a case for the non-existence of god or God. Still, that is not necessary to adopt an atheist position. Atheism is simply not believing in God or gods.

As far as wavering Christians becoming Atheists, you are certainly correct. Obviously, no matter how strong of a Christian you are, your faith waivers as you begin to educate yourself. The strength of faith is not a factor at all. Your commitment to understanding is. The Clergy Project is full of Christian Leaders who once believed so strongly they made Christianity their life. Now that they have discovered the truth, they have formed a self help organization with a global reach.

Obviously "Belief in God does not become permanent" but if you fuck one donkey your are a donkey fucker for life.

FievelJ's picture
@Lion IRC

@Lion IRC

First who are you talking to?

And second.

I will never go back to Christianity, as all the stories can in fact be debunked.

Lion IRC's picture
@Fievel Mousekewitz

@Fievel Mousekewitz
I don't know in advance the names of everyone who might read that post. Sorry.

When you say you will never go back to Christianity you remind me of the emphatic Christopher Hitchens asserting that he would never have a death bed conversion.

But did you know that in the final weeks/months of his terminal illness he was reading a book about a man who was arguably the greatest Christian apologist who ever lived, a man named GK Chesterton.
Yep. GK Chesterton. The former atheist turned Christian theologian and apologist.

Don't you think that's an interesting biography for Hitchens to be reading in his final days?

Never say never?

In any case Hitchens has nothing to be ashamed of. A true skeptic should always keep an open mind. He even told 60 Minutes, when answering a question about the afterlife, saying..."I like surprises".

I think former atheists make the best apologists. CS Lewis. Lee Strobel. (Even Hitchens' brother Peter is a former atheist.)

Sheldon's picture
Lion IRC "Don't you think

Lion IRC "Don't you think that's an interesting biography for Hitchens to be reading in his final days?"

I know he's been booted out, and now I can see why, when theistic trolling gets so desperate they have to start converting dead atheists that's pathetically sad, but when that dead atheist is a man who fought the vapid superstition of atheism for decades, The Hitch of all people, then I think we can all see their rhetoric has run its course.

Lion IRC arrived with an empty bag of tricks, and just before he left he turned the fucking thing inside out for us all to see, just so we'd all be sure. Thank you Lion IRC, if you can still read this then I'd like you to know, your rhetoric has made me more assured than ever that theists trumpeting evidence have none to offer. Especially when they end up attacking science, and implying The Hitch converted before he died.

Anyone got a link to that duplicitous opportunistic scumbag preacher that was first to cash in on this garbage with a book? How can any theist not see this makes them look a particularly desperate, and graceless cunt? It's not even original duplicity, they're offering.

Sheldon's picture
Lion IRC "I think former

Lion IRC "I think former atheists make the best apologists. CS Lewis. Lee Strobel. (Even Hitchens' brother Peter is a former atheist.)"

That's particularly hilarious, and equally stupid, since all theists are former atheists, since theists are taught religion. Peter Hitchens FWIW is one of the most cretinous tabloid hacks it has ever been my misfortune to read, if he fell in a bucket of tits he'd come out sucking his thumb. He claimed that he converted after a trip to the former Soviet Union, and after seeing how downtrodden the people were, how harsh their lives were under communism, it could ONLY BE because they had abandoned religion. Now that kind of reasoning skills you can only marvel at, how exactly his own atheism escaped this inevitable result he never actually mentions, genius.

He is a full time writer for the Daily Mail, I once read a full two page piece of hackery by him claiming Dyslexia doesn't exist, and had been fabricated by ambitious quacks, and dishonest parents eager to cash in.

My brother is a severe Dyslexic btw, and he was diagnosed when the condition was first being studied, by the country's then most foremost expert, for which my parents paid privately. He is also on record as claiming addiction does not exist. Peter Hitchens wouldn't recognise the truth if it spoke to him from a burning fucking bush. He's a reactionary egomaniac, who lacks his late brother's integrity, grace, eloquence, and by a large margin his intelligence, he is utterly devoid of objectivity. It's as if they built a brain dead android specifically to champion the Daily Mail's particular brand of amoral bigotry.

FievelJ's picture
@Lion IRC

@Lion IRC

I was a Christian most of my life, I dropped it like trash as there's just no actual evidence of a god.

I do not think even on my deathbed I will suddenly think, "Oh forgive me Jesus I was wrong."
I am sorry but (NOTHING) will change me. I am an atheist, and I believe on my deathbed I will be honestly glad it's almost over. Who wants to live an eternity? What would one do forever?

No thank you.

Whitefire13's picture
https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1952848

For fun...WTBTS answer. To kill or not to kill an apostate?!!!? Thank god for Satan’s world...I’m safe here.

Tin-Man's picture
@Whitefire Re: "Thank god

@Whitefire Re: "Thank god for Satan’s world...I’m safe here."

That's right girlfriend! We've got your back!... *Z-snap*...

(By the way, that link you posted was some of the most convoluted double-speak word salad I have seen in awhile.... *shaking head in amazement*...)

David Killens's picture
@ Whitefire13

@ Whitefire13

Wow, that is just cruel and mean and nasty.

Tin-Man's picture
@David K. Re: To White -

@David K. Re: To White - "Wow, that is just cruel and mean and nasty."

Aw, c'mon, David. Don't be so shy. You know what you really wanted to say...

...*yelling toward kitchen*... Hey, White, David wants to know how much he would have to pay to watch!

Edit to add: Dammit... Just noticed I put this in the wrong thread. I thought David was responding to Whitefire calling Cog into the kitchen.... *reading through posts again*... Eh, nevermind. Doesn't matter. Still fits in here, too... *shrugging shoulders*...

boomer47's picture
"For fun...WTBTS answer. To

@White

"For fun...WTBTS answer. To kill or not to kill an apostate?!!!? Thank god for Satan’s world...I’m safe here"

Until I recently discovered ** that Christians invented the notion of an eternal hell, I often though of this;

"'Hell for the company .Heaven for the climate"(Mark Twain)

--apart from the logic that an eternal hell is antithetical to a god of infinite mercy and compassion. Or just that being moral to avoid punishment is a pretty fucked up (with apologies to Idiocracy)

"To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world, is just as base as to use force... "

Attributed to Hypatia ofAlexandria, fourth and fifth century greek female mathematician and philosopher. She was murdered by a christian mob at the behest of Bishop, later Pope Theophilus.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))0))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Bishop John Spong, my favourite theist , on hell and other stuff. (3 min 16)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6I5VSZVqc

ADDENDUM: However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshiped from his congregation, and this despite the fact that the law of the land in which we live requires us under some natural obligation to live with and have dealings with such apostates under the sam"e roof."

Funny how the nastiest shit claimed to be god's word tends to coincide with the bigotries of the believer-----A girlfriend's devout catholic parents were ex communicated because mum had a tubal ligation--(in 1948) She'd had four pregnancies, one of twins, which miscarried, one of triplets ,one of which miscarried. Four children survived. . The tubal ligation was because of medical advice which said SHE WOULD DIE if she fell pregnant again . Clergy can be unmitigated crunts. ---the children were all brought up chronically Irish catholics.

Whitefire13's picture
Fuckin’ thanks guys :) the

Fuckin’ thanks guys :) the laughs are soooo appreciated right now

Ohh...and to watch me use that rolling pin - priceless

Tin-Man's picture
@Whitefire Re: "Ohh...and to

@Whitefire Re: "Ohh...and to watch me use that rolling pin - priceless"

Ooooo..... So you are saying it is FREE to watch?.... *clapping excitedly*... Sssssss-weeeet! Okay, I'm bringing the eggnog! Who's bringing the popcorn?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM

I brought to popcorn and a bulk order of KY jelly....I mean it is going to be THAT sort of party? *Groucho Marx's his eyebrows* Hmm??? I patched your inflatable arse...umm. sorry Ass...the one you stole from the Palm Sunday parade last year....I stuck a horn on it and painted it in Rainbow colors so when the papal police came calling I introduced them Eric.....ah, we laughed. Anyhoo that's how he got the puncture....all fixed. I even adjusted the sphincter for you so there should be no backpressure this time...oh that was messy....

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