Author Topic: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions  (Read 2198 times)

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Offline Lectus

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I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« on: June 09, 2013, 10:15:21 PM »
If you define what a belief is, it's basically a construct inside the brain that filters reality through it.

If you think for example that people are bad, you'll start paying attention to bad behaviors of people to validate your belief and ignore good people that don't validate your belief.

This is nothing new. Just how the brain works. It recognizes patterns of what makes a belief.

As for religious beliefs it's the same thing. People will filter their lives through those beliefs and start seeing "miracles" and signs of God that the ordinary person would just assume as normal.

The problem is that beliefs are constantly being refreshed with these new evidences, so when you try to challenge a person's belief he'll start acting angry or upset.

This is why logic doesn't work to deconvert a theist. Their beliefs carry a huge emotional baggage.

Beliefs also don't have to be real. But they are useful in parts of our lives. Humanity couldn't survive without beliefs. For example if you don't believe you can find food you'd never go out to hunt.

The problem is when beliefs get out of control. Example: religion fanatics

I think it sums it up pretty well how it works. What do you think?
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 10:53:00 PM »
This is true.  There is a strong desire to believe there is really someone who's got your back.  Even when all logic points to the fact that if you fall no one really is going to catch you.  Deep down the theist wants to hold on to the hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the cloud does have a silver lining and that the crap bag they have been handed really is part of some master plan that will eventually work out for the best.  Way down in my gut is still a Whoville sized bit of faith that says I may get through the horror that my life has become.  I know that does not require the existence of any deity for that to occur.  But I don't cease calling out into the nothingness...
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 03:39:32 AM »
Its the only real explanation for the myriad different religions and understandings of "god".

The same base evidence is our there for everyone, so you'd have thought that after so many thousand years we'd have acheived consensus on what this "god" actually is (assuming there is one).

Of course, you've got individual experiences on top, so not everyone DOES have exactly the same information - but as Lectus says, that experience becomes filtered through what they already believe.  It's why even WITH personal "revalations" there is still no agreement.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline screwtape

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 08:22:28 AM »
Everyone wants to believe their own delusions.  Not just the religious.  We all want our beliefs to be true.  As you pointed out, it is how the brain works, so it is a human problem, not a religion problem. 

You are correct that logic does not deconvert a theist.  But then, logic generally does not change anyone's mind about anything.  Think about the last time you had a political discussion where you changed someone's mind.  I cannot recall when I have.  Think about the last time you changed your mind about anything.

It is possible for some people to change that.  But it takes training and discipline and I do not think it is possible on a broad enough scale to make much difference.

Religion is just a symptom of the inherent flaws built into our brains.  Until we can fix the brain, I think we are unfortunatley stuck with religion.
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Offline SkyWriting

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 04:01:33 PM »
Everyone wants to believe their own delusions.  Not just the religious.  We all want our beliefs to be true.  As you pointed out, it is how the brain works, so it is a human problem, not a religion problem. 

You are correct that logic does not deconvert a theist.  But then, logic generally does not change anyone's mind about anything.  Think about the last time you had a political discussion where you changed someone's mind.  I cannot recall when I have.  Think about the last time you changed your mind about anything.

It is possible for some people to change that.  But it takes training and discipline and I do not think it is possible on a broad enough scale to make much difference.

Religion is just a symptom of the inherent flaws built into our brains.  Until we can fix the brain, I think we are unfortunatley stuck with religion.

It is reasonable to assume the scientific principal of entropy requires a cause for every effect.
The law also states that energy dissipates over time and becomes useless.
Yet energy has been stored into tiny capsules of power and stays intact.
A force outside of nature is logical and required because all this ordered
energy must have come from a greater force.  God is logical. 

Getting rid of God requires that we suspend logic and the physical laws of the Universe.

http://www.entropylaw.com/
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 04:04:02 PM by SkyWriting »

Offline screwtape

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 05:42:15 PM »
It is reasonable to assume the scientific principal of entropy requires a cause for every effect.

I don't think so.

The law also states that energy dissipates over time and becomes useless.

Not also.  That is, sort of but not quite, the second law of thermodynamics.

'
Yet energy has been stored into tiny capsules of power and stays intact.
A force outside of nature is logical and required because all this ordered
energy must have come from a greater force.  God is logical. 

?  what the flip is any of that supposed to mean?

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Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 05:54:40 PM »
It is reasonable to assume the scientific principal of entropy requires a cause for every effect.

I don't think so.

The law also states that energy dissipates over time and becomes useless.

Not also.  That is, sort of but not quite, the second law of thermodynamics.

'
Yet energy has been stored into tiny capsules of power and stays intact.
A force outside of nature is logical and required because all this ordered
energy must have come from a greater force.  God is logical. 

?  what the flip is any of that supposed to mean?
    This is what happens when an ignoramus tries to explain something that is over their head.
    Re: the subject of this post, it's called willful ignorance.
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
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Offline SkyWriting

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 06:00:23 PM »
It is reasonable to assume the scientific principal of entropy requires a cause for every effect.

I don't think so.

The law also states that energy dissipates over time and becomes useless.

Not also.  That is, sort of but not quite, the second law of thermodynamics.

'
Yet energy has been stored into tiny capsules of power and stays intact.
A force outside of nature is logical and required because all this ordered
energy must have come from a greater force.  God is logical. 

?  what the flip is any of that supposed to mean?

Energy dissipates until no longer useful. By law.
So...what force brought the energy of an Atomic Bomb
explosion into any easy to handle mass, the weight of one dime?

That would be some bigger force, again by law.  And what brought that?
Ultimately there is a "first cause" or non material origin.  By law. 
The law of nature requires a super-natural origin.

 

Offline screwtape

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 07:36:46 PM »
Energy dissipates until no longer useful.

Sort of.  Sometimes you need an activation energy to release it.  Like a boulder sitting atop a hill (higher potential energy state) requires a push (activation energy) in order for it to roll downhill (lower energy state).  The boulder's potential energy does not simply dissipate as it sits atop the hill.

By law.

Sort of.

So...what force brought the energy of an Atomic Bomb
explosion into any easy to handle mass, the weight of one dime?

The supernova and gravity that preceded our solar system. 

Ultimately there is a "first cause" or non material origin.  By law. 

Incorrect.  Completely.

The law of nature requires a super-natural origin. 

Incorrect.  That is your own personal assumption.  It one that has tradition, but ultimately is not an airtight argument by any means.
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Offline Odin

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 08:35:09 PM »
The law of nature requires a super-natural origin. 

Incorrect.  That is your own personal assumption.  It one that has tradition, but ultimately is not an airtight argument by any means.

I agree with screwtape, and would even add that the law of nature precludes a super-natural origin.  Super-natural is only required if the law of nature is suspended.  The law of nature, from the beginning of time, is not something we understand completely, but we're working on it.

To say since we can't fully explain it, then "god did it" is just lazy, and superstitious.

Odin, King of the Gods

PS - The universe might be eternal, and without a beginning.  Even though there most certainly was a Big Bang, that last one we still see remnants of could have been the result of the Big Crunch that ended the last universe.  Read a little more - science has come a long way since 33 A.D.

Offline Lectus

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 08:38:01 PM »
I was talking with a Christian about the origins of Christianity.

Then he said he didn't want to know. That he preferred to just read the bible.

It's like they really WANT to believe in it. Even if it's BS.

I find this very disturbing.

It's like if I were to take the Harry Potter book as truth and ignore anyone that says otherwise. Block any news in the media that says it's fiction. And scream "Hogwarts is real man! I'm a real witch!".

 :o
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 08:42:22 PM by Lectus »
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 02:21:30 AM »
It's interesting....years ago I did a training course based around NLP, and one of the exercises we did was the answer the question "when is it okay for you to lie to someone?".  After we'd done that - and come up with a few good reasons - we were than asked the question "when is it okay for someone to lie to you?"  And all of a sudden all the good reasons we have come up with for the previous question fell apart. 

About the only one we could come up with was that it was okay to be lied to if (1) we would never, ever be able to learn the truth, and (2) the lie would give comfort and spare us from a harsh reality.  So for example, my wife dies in a car crash, witnessed only by one paramedic.  In reality, she died screaming in agaony over half an hour - but he told me she was unconscious all the time and just slipped away.

I see those two points (never know truth, and spare from reality) as being very close to the reasons that theists want to keep believing.  It gives them comfort and spares them from the reality of the godless universe, and they will never have to face the truth, 'cos when you're dead you're dead.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 12:28:24 PM »

It's like if I were to take the Harry Potter book as truth and ignore anyone that says otherwise. Block any news in the media that says it's fiction. And scream "Hogwarts is real man! I'm a real witch!".

 :o
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It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 10:11:19 AM »
Sort of.  Sometimes you need an activation energy to release it.  Like a boulder sitting atop a hill (higher potential energy state) requires a push (activation energy) in order for it to roll downhill (lower energy state).  The boulder's potential energy does not simply dissipate as it sits atop the hill.

Yes, over time it squashes the hill, and over time the hill and bolder both turn to dust, then energy and dissipate until diffused and of no use at a temp of absolute zero. The end. 

Offline screwtape

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 10:28:18 AM »
Yes, over time it squashes the hill, and over time the hill and bolder both turn to dust, then energy and dissipate until diffused and of no use at a temp of absolute zero. The end.

Not precisely.  squashing the hill requires energy.  hills and bolders do not just turn to dust. they erode, which requires energy. 
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Offline xyzzy

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 04:05:03 PM »
Isn't this just another spin on the equivocations so beloved by the theists, new-agers, and other peddlers of woo?

On one hand we have energy as the ability to do work on an object, subject to and constrained by natural laws. Yet, on the other hand, we have this imagined and magical form of "energy" that exists in some alternate reality, which is [magically] claimed to not be subject to any law that we understand. Somehow, by misusing the same word, we are supposed to accept that the later is the progenitor of all matter and energy as we know it. And why and how is that? Because the theist says so, it's the same word, and the believer wants and needs it to be true.

It's just silly.
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Offline WakingDeath

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2013, 08:37:01 PM »
I was talking with a Christian about the origins of Christianity.

Then he said he didn't want to know. That he preferred to just read the bible.

It's like they really WANT to believe in it. Even if it's BS.

I find this very disturbing.

It's like if I were to take the Harry Potter book as truth and ignore anyone that says otherwise. Block any news in the media that says it's fiction. And scream "Hogwarts is real man! I'm a real witch!".

 :o


Hello.  Sorry for just butting in but according to the forum rules, i have to post a few meaningful posts before I can start a topic. It also appears that this rule also includes the Introductions, which is a bit ironic.  But about this topic.......and what I used as a quote,    As a Christian I also find this disturbing.  The origins of that faith contains some very interesting facts.  I don't understand why that individual would not care about how Christianity got so widespread.  Most Christians would deduce that it was divine Providence.  I have a friend who is quite similar in his belief. I tried to explain to him about the origins of the Bible,  and he didn't want to hear it.   I found it a but disturbing to tell the truth.  A person can still have their faith and enjoy learning about the history about it as well.

Online wright

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2013, 10:17:57 PM »
Hello.  Sorry for just butting in but according to the forum rules, i have to post a few meaningful posts before I can start a topic. It also appears that this rule also includes the Introductions, which is a bit ironic.  But about this topic.......and what I used as a quote,    As a Christian I also find this disturbing.  The origins of that faith contains some very interesting facts.  I don't understand why that individual would not care about how Christianity got so widespread.  Most Christians would deduce that it was divine Providence.  I have a friend who is quite similar in his belief. I tried to explain to him about the origins of the Bible,  and he didn't want to hear it.   I found it a but disturbing to tell the truth.  A person can still have their faith and enjoy learning about the history about it as well.

Welcome to the forum, WakingDeath. No worries about "butting in"; your post is on-topic and newcomers are allowed a bit of leeway, generally speaking.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2013, 10:40:45 PM »
Welcome, Waking Death. If you plan on hanging around for any length of time, let me be the first to warn you that new Christians to the site (generically referred to as theists) are usually bombarded with questions and challenges, sometimes politely, sometimes not quite as politely. If you find that happening, there is a section on the site known as 'The Shelter', which is specifically in place for theists to have discussions at a more leisurley pace. If that is of interest to you, just sing out and one of the moderators should be able to set that up. (it's not open to all members).

I'm a Christian also by the way.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2013, 03:45:50 AM »
I'm a Christian also by the way.

I'm not - but MM is quite right.   ;D

What I'd also suggest is that if you start to feel swamped, say so!  Most of the guys 'n' gals here will be extremely tolerant of someone who is doing there best to keep up.  We all know that that pesky "life" thing sometimes gets in the way of the important purpose of posting on this forum!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline WakingDeath

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2013, 08:43:48 PM »
Welcome, Waking Death. If you plan on hanging around for any length of time, let me be the first to warn you that new Christians to the site (generically referred to as theists) are usually bombarded with questions and challenges, sometimes politely, sometimes not quite as politely. If you find that happening, there is a section on the site known as 'The Shelter', which is specifically in place for theists to have discussions at a more leisurley pace. If that is of interest to you, just sing out and one of the moderators should be able to set that up. (it's not open to all members).

I'm a Christian also by the way.

Referring to me as a theist is more than acceptable.  I actually prefer it but my beliefs are Christian as a base.  All of you may also be surprised that I may agree with some of you on a lot of points. I am mostly anti-religion (in the organized sense) and pro-spiritual.  I find spirituality to be the healthier path both mentally and emotionally, even if most of you will describe me as being "delusional" in the technical sense.  I am not here to prove God's existence because that is impossible to do in the general sense.  I will answer any questions as to why I am a believer though.   but please forgive me if I ignore the more "zealous" atheist types.   They annoy me as much as religious zealots do.   From what I have observed they are pretty much the same thing, just at opposite sides of the spectrum.   Also I would like to thank all of those who gave me such a surprisingly warm welcome.  And thanks for the advice.  :)

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2013, 09:11:18 PM »
Yes, over time it squashes the hill, and over time the hill and bolder both turn to dust, then energy and dissipate until diffused and of no use at a temp of absolute zero. The end.

This could be right! The only way out of it would be if our planet had an external power source somewhere. Not likely.

Now excuse me while I go to the store and get something for this damn sunburn...
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline screwtape

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2013, 09:55:46 PM »
Hi.  Welcome.  If you've not already, I suggest using the links in my sig to learn quoting and the general rules.  Also, take some time to read some threads to get to know us better.  The forum can be difficult for religious types to acclimate.  Reading before posting may help.

I find spirituality to be the healthier path both mentally and emotionally,

Could you please describe what you mean by "spirituality"?  There is a lot of confusion as pretty much every person I talk to has a different idea of what they mean by it. 

I am not here to prove God's existence because that is impossible to do in the general sense.

What other things do you believe that are impossible to prove?  Do you think it is good policy in general to believe in things which are impossible to prove?


but please forgive me if I ignore the more "zealous" atheist types.   They annoy me as much as religious zealots do. 

Sorry, no can do.  This is our back yard, not yours.  You do not set the rules.

 
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Offline SkyWriting

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2013, 04:48:50 AM »
Yes, over time it squashes the hill, and over time the hill and bolder both turn to dust, then energy and dissipate until diffused and of no use at a temp of absolute zero. The end.

This could be right! The only way out of it would be if our planet had an external power source somewhere. Not likely.

Now excuse me while I go to the store and get something for this damn sunburn...

So if you step out of the Cosmos bubble, all matter, what store are you going to get your 5 hour energy drink from?

Offline WakingDeath

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2013, 05:03:18 AM »
Hi.  Welcome.  If you've not already, I suggest using the links in my sig to learn quoting and the general rules.  Also, take some time to read some threads to get to know us better.  The forum can be difficult for religious types to acclimate.  Reading before posting may help.

I find spirituality to be the healthier path both mentally and emotionally,

Could you please describe what you mean by "spirituality"?  There is a lot of confusion as pretty much every person I talk to has a different idea of what they mean by it. 

I am not here to prove God's existence because that is impossible to do in the general sense.

What other things do you believe that are impossible to prove?  Do you think it is good policy in general to believe in things which are impossible to prove?


but please forgive me if I ignore the more "zealous" atheist types.   They annoy me as much as religious zealots do. 

Sorry, no can do.  This is our back yard, not yours.  You do not set the rules.

I am going to answer each of your replies to each peace of my post I used.

First off, spirituality is different for every individual who experiences it.  Spirituality is the belief in ones own spiritual experience, religion is the belief the experience of someone else.

Secondly, the afterlife is impossible to prove and I believe in that as well.  Some of you also believe in multiple universes, which is also impossible to prove.

And finally.... I WILL ignore the more zealous atheist types. I don't care whose "back yard" it is.  And if you can't forgive that, then all I have to say is too bad.  Deal with it.  It's my choice. not yours.  Are we clear?





Offline SkyWriting

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2013, 05:31:46 AM »
Yes, over time it squashes the hill, and over time the hill and bolder both turn to dust, then energy and dissipate until diffused and of no use at a temp of absolute zero. The end.

Not precisely.  squashing the hill requires energy.  hills and bolders do not just turn to dust. they erode, which requires energy.

Both are energy being released which dissipates until no longer usable.

New Calculations Suggest Universe May be Closer to Heat Death

http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2009/10/05/new-calculations-suggest-universe-may-be-a-bit-closer-to-heat-death

Offline The Gawd

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2013, 07:35:42 AM »
Welcome, Waking Death. If you plan on hanging around for any length of time, let me be the first to warn you that new Christians to the site (generically referred to as theists) are usually bombarded with questions and challenges, sometimes politely, sometimes not quite as politely.

I find them pretty harmless. None have covered any new ground,
and some are interested in testing one's tolerance to insults.
No new ground is needed. Christianity has been effectively falsified. You represent the last fighting remnants like the Southern soldiers in the Civil War that didn't realize the war was over and kept fighting.

But here's a thing to think about. Why do yours, WakingDeath, zeke's, and junebug's gods all differ?


Offline Jontom10

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2013, 07:41:53 AM »
I would say that a theist that doesn't believe his/her delusions is call an atheist.

If all theists stopped believing their delusions then there would be no religion. For some reality is too difficult to cope with so they want to believe in fantasy.
Hasa Diga Eebowai

Offline screwtape

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Re: I think theists want to believe in their own delusions
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2013, 09:20:21 AM »
First off, spirituality is different for every individual who experiences it.  Spirituality is the belief in ones own spiritual experience, religion is the belief the experience of someone else.

I find it helps if you define a word without using the word in the definition.  If you could try again without using the words "spiritual" or "spirit", I would find it more useful. 

Secondly, the afterlife is impossible to prove and I believe in that as well.  Some of you also believe in multiple universes, which is also impossible to prove.

Let's not make generalities. This is you and me.  If multiple universes are things which by definition cannot have evidence, then I don't believe in them.   What "some atheists" believe is irrelevant.

Also, please don't try to make this one of those conversations where I point out some incredibly stupid aspect of religion and you try to equivocate and say I believe something similar.  This is not tit for tat, and whether I believe something equally stupid is not the issue.  There is no quid pro quo on stupid ideas.  My stupidity does not make your stupidity any more acceptable.

I'll say up front that I believe some stupid things.  But there are a lot fewer of them than there were 5 or 10 years ago.  When I find I believe an idea that cannot be supported, I jettison the idea. 

You, on the other hand, have already said proudly that you keep at least two completely unsupportable ideas.  So you are already behind the eightball. 


And finally.... I WILL ignore the more zealous atheist types. I don't care whose "back yard" it is.  And if you can't forgive that, then all I have to say is too bad.  Deal with it.  It's my choice. not yours.  Are we clear?

No, we are not clear.  At least, you are not clear.  You see, we have rules here.  There is a link to them in my sig, if you've not read them.  When you signed up, you agreed to follow them.  Just ignoring other people whenever you feel like it is not just rude, but also against the rules.  That's not to say you have to respond to each and every post.  It just means you need to engage with others. 

And while I cannot make you do anything, I can limit your choices.  I'd rather not have a pissing match though. 

Are we clear now?




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