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I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76654] Wed, 25 March 2020 17:44 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Sometimes people represent atheism as a religion, a belief system. Sometimes they do not.

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5086&private=0

To me this means that the etymology, above, is helpful.

Does an atheist
  • believe that there is no god?
  • have proof that there is no god?
  • have no knowledge of a god, and is thus without god?
  • something else?

There is a converse of atheism. Those questions can, should, be asked about those who 'consider' that there is a god, and conceivably have faith in one

But, if we ask questions based upon faith to an atheist, does that mean that an atheist has faith that there is no god? Does such faith, if it exists, imply a religion of atheism?

If an atheist expresses a belief that there is no god, is that an expression of faith insofar as faith and belief may often be said to be the same thing?

Why am I asking these questions?


In part I blame(!) Bensiamin for his trilogy that progresses from somewhere on the religious spectrum to somewhere else. I haven't yet discovered, nor has anyone yet except his beta readers, where that somewhere else is

In part this comes from inside. I was raised to be a non-attending Church of England protestant. I refused confirmation, because it felt wrong to confirm a faith I did not have. I also felt the then appalling stigma of homosexuality, for I was starting to discover and deny that I was homosexual. The church hated it.  

As a student I was happy to witness a very out and proud young gay man tackle Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford in public forum for his views on homosexuality. Longford abandoned the stage having not expected to be challenged. His tail was well and truly between his legs. Longford displayed self righteous and pompous religiosity. Very much in denial his views made me cringe

So I am an atheist, confident that there is no deity. I am also a gay man who has flirted with CofE from time to time, and found his atheism confirmed


I have no idea where I'm going with this. I started with no clear plan! Maybe it will create a discussion



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76655 is a reply to message #76654] Wed, 25 March 2020 18:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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It's okay not to know where you're going with this line of thought. I've been on that journey for quite some time now and am okay with wherever it takes me.

Having been raised very much a Christian, and now, having abandoned all but one of the basic beliefs that are unique to Christianity, I've observed that of all the people I've ever run across who best model the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, the athiests do. With rare exceptioin Christians most certainly do not model their namesake in speach or action. To me there's a lesson to be learned in that.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76656 is a reply to message #76655] Wed, 25 March 2020 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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BTW, I'd like to know more about this confrontation you mentioned between Frank Pakenham and the "proud young gay man". I read the section in the wiki article about his stance(s) on homosexuality and found nothing there regarding it. Not sure what sort of search to execute to successfully find what I'm looking for without a tad bit more info...




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76659 is a reply to message #76656] Wed, 25 March 2020 21:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Teddy wrote on Wed, 25 March 2020 18:08"
BTW, I'd like to know more about this confrontation you mentioned between Frank Pakenham and the "proud young gay man". I read the section in the wiki article about his stance(s) on homosexuality and found nothing there regarding it. Not sure what sort of search to execute to successfully find what I'm looking for without a tad bit more info...



--
This is abit of a side issue, of course.

Place Longford, 'Lord Porn' as he was known' on a raised stage some four feet above the floor of the Union's Debating Hall, a very large rectangular space with balcony away from the stage. The stage is a thrust stage with proscenium arch and red house tabs. Seat him behind a table on the stage, and light him properly with spotlights.

Lord Porn was famous in the early 1970s. He had a very Roman Catholic outlook, perhaps even stronger as a convert.

He had not intended to speak about homosexuality. I forget the title of his talk, but he was revealing to us some of his research into the Danish porn industry. For the gentlemen of the day these were the weird days when magazines such as Piccolo were available in the UK advertised in the small ads in the then magazine Exchange and Mart. Today mere possession of such a magazine would lead to a jail sentence. Then, in Denmark, they were 100% lawful, and the age of consent was, I think, 14. Longford expected to tell us how bad the porn was for us. We were, after all, late teenagers, early twenties, and ripe for being 'saved'.

We listened for a while. It was preachy.

A hand was raised, and Lord Porn took a question, as I recall. and the questioner, a leading member of the University of Birmingham Guild of Undergraduates Union Gay Society ask his thoughts on homosexuality.

Lord Porn gave a reasonable fist of an answer speaking of hating the sin and loving the sinner. Not too bad for the day, the more so since there had been vitriolic debate in the run up to the legalisation of gay sex between consenting adults in private in 1967.

The gay gentleman pressed him on homosexuals having sex.

"Gay men may have sex if they are married," spake Lord Porn.

"But men cannot marry each other?"

"No, I mean that gay men may have sex with women if they are married to a woman."

Lord Porn was amazed at the roar of disapproval, not only from the Gay Society, but form almost all of the students who had packed the hall for the talk. When I say  it was packed, the hall plus gallery holds more than 500 folk.

He spluttered, looked bewildered, uttered some nonsense equivalent to it not being the topic he was there to talk about, was howled down, and beat a very fast retreat. It appears he had not expected that level of liberal approval for a facet most of the attendees, male and female, did not understand, but accepted in others.

I think it was reported in Redbrick (newspaper), and after Redbrick's 'Who's a Wanker?' article, something I wish I'd kept. The Wikipedia article's talk page discusses it. I know, because I added the segment in the article and on the talk page

[Updated on: Wed, 25 March 2020 21:32]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76660 is a reply to message #76654] Thu, 26 March 2020 06:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Before moving forward with the discussion it is necessary to define God.

God 

1.(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

2.(in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

If the definition of God is expanded it takes on a whole different aspect and one which I believe in

Pantheism

In the mid-eighteenth century, the English theologian Daniel Waterland defined pantheism this way: "It supposes God and nature, or God and the whole universe, to be one and the same substance--one universal being; insomuch that men's souls are only modifications of the divine substance."

[Updated on: Thu, 26 March 2020 06:44]

Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76661 is a reply to message #76660] Thu, 26 March 2020 07:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Talo Segura wrote on Thu, 26 March 2020 06:41"
Before moving forward with the discussion it is necessary to define God.

God 

1.(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

2.(in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

If the definition of God is expanded it takes on a whole different aspect and one which I believe in

Pantheism

In the mid-eighteenth century, the English theologian Daniel Waterland defined pantheism this way: "It supposes God and nature, or God and the whole universe, to be one and the same substance--one universal being; insomuch that men's souls are only modifications of the divine substance."






--
Ok. I am an atheist before and after the definitions, though.

I like the concept of being able to blame multiple deities for the things that go right and wrong in life far better than having one boss deity who must be appeased all the time by worship and ritual. But liking one idea better than another doesn't mean I either want or have it in my life.

I choose to live my life doing the best I can and being content that biology, physics, chemistry and mathemetics seem to do ok on this planet. And no, I credit no alleged higher power with their existence. They just exist.

I enjoy a good tune. Good composers create good tunes. I can't help it that some of the tunes I enjoy are used in formal religion. I also enjoy bawdy songs. I wonder if that is not obvious from my pen name.

[Updated on: Thu, 26 March 2020 08:27]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76662 is a reply to message #76654] Thu, 26 March 2020 13:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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After the definitions (and confirmation that you are still an atheist), we need to examine a few other life experiences.
1. Near death experiences.
2. Recollection of past lives.
3. Those feelings of déjà vu.
4. The scientific evidence for multiple universes.
5. Quantum mechanics, the principle that particles can exist in two separate locations at the same time.

You don't need to believe in God to know there are more things in heaven and earth...
Perhaps the pertinent question is not: do you believe in God, but rather do you believe that you are born, you live, then you die, nothing more, or do you believe, accept it might be possible, that there is more than this life.

I rather like this quote: "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another."― Einstein

[Updated on: Thu, 26 March 2020 13:08]

Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76663 is a reply to message #76660] Thu, 26 March 2020 13:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Talo Segura wrote on Thu, 26 March 2020 06:41"

In the mid-eighteenth century, the English theologian Daniel Waterland defined pantheism this way: "It supposes God and nature, or God and the whole universe, to be one and the same substance--one universal being; insomuch that men's souls are only modifications of the divine substance."





--
Daniel Waterland by his dates cannot have beeen what one might hope is an impartial theologian. It would appear from this article that he was 100% aligned with christian doctrine cant and dogma, may even have been particularly dogmatic. "He was an acute controversialist on behalf of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, on which he wrote several treatises." 

Looking at his work should be looked at under the critical light we use when we look at scientific research to see who paid for the research. It looks very much as if this bloke was working his ticket towards eternal life with his mythical saviour. Or, to put it another way, he had a vested interest.

[Updated on: Thu, 26 March 2020 13:20]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76664 is a reply to message #76662] Thu, 26 March 2020 14:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I am born. I live. I die.

That's it.

Were the to be some soft of afterlife why would that require a deity? Does some great official have to be in charge?

Could it be ~gasp~ Mr and Mrs LDS god shagging each other senseless on the planet Kolob creatimg millions of souls needing bodies to be shoved into?

What if L Ron Hubbard not only won his bet about starting a new religion, but is right?

I have no need to examine life experiences. I have one, thank you. I'm living it.

[Updated on: Thu, 26 March 2020 14:06]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76666 is a reply to message #76664] Thu, 26 March 2020 16:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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As a non-believer, my lack of religion is just that; I don't believe in it, and religious quandries like the original post matter nothing to me. I don't 'have faith' in the abscence of god, it just doesn't matter one iota to me, or what other people believe. As far as proving there is no god, that would be proving a negative. Proof requires evidence, therefore you can't prove something that has no evidence. 



"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76669 is a reply to message #76666] Thu, 26 March 2020 19:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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American Alex: sounds like you're in good company. Here's the way Carl Sagan put it in 1981.

An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed.



Bensiamin
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76670 is a reply to message #76662] Thu, 26 March 2020 20:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Talo: picking up the themes of your two comments, I'd point to Carl Sagan (whom I had to read up on for The Food of Love, where he makes a brief appearance), about whom:
Sagan's views on religion have been interpreted as a form of pantheism comparable to Einstein's belief in Spinoza's God.His son,

Dorion Sagan said, "My father believed in the God of Spinoza and Einstein, God not behind nature but as nature, equivalent to it." 




Bensiamin
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76677 is a reply to message #76654] Fri, 27 March 2020 06:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Should the world be divided into those for whom God holds some interest and those for whom this idea or belief has no interest, then for this latter group we might look at Experientialism, because experience would dictate your view of existence - should you wish to look and comment. This leads us nicely to Metaphors We Live By and the mental organisation of human experience. The understanding of one idea or conceptional domain in terms of another (An example is understanding quantity in terms of direction - the price of peace is rising, understanding time in terms of money - I spent time at work. Language is a beautiful tool, and offers useful insight. The Bible is filled entirely with metaphors used to describe God. We have images of God and we have images of ourselves, neither are true reflections, but simply metaphors for understanding existence.
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76678 is a reply to message #76677] Fri, 27 March 2020 06:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Here is a lovely extract from Wearing God by Lauren F Winner:

I had felt very far away from God for some years. It was a long season, salty and bitter, but it did not last forever. During the months in which I was emerging from that season--the months in which I was beginning to realize that God had been there all along; that maybe what had felt to me like God's absence was actually a tutorial in God's mystery; that maybe it was my imagination, not God, that had faltered--during that emergence, I began to notice God darting hither and thither, and I began to notice that I was darting hither and thither near God, and I began to realize that my pictures of God were old. They were not old in the sense of antique champagne flutes, which are abundant with significance precisely because they are old--when you sip from them you remember your grandmother using them at birthday dinners, or your sister toasting her beloved at their wedding. Rather, they were old like a seventh-grade health textbook from 1963: moderately interesting for what it might say about culture and science in 1963, but generally out of date. 
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76681 is a reply to message #76669] Fri, 27 March 2020 18:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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"Bensiamin wrote on Thu, 26 March 2020 15:58"
American Alex: sounds like you're in good company. Here's the way Carl Sagan put it in 1981.

An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed.

--

Yes, Dr. Sagan's beliefs were pretty similar. I met Carl around that time at a coffee shop in Ithaca (I don't live too far from there), and he invited me to join him. I could never be able to converse on his level in physics, so we talked about his love of diesel cars, and a bit about atheism. I was at that point more of a deist or an agnostic, but he gave me some points to ponder. He died far too young, and shortly after he did fundamentalists created a false narative about him supposedly converting to christianity on his deathbed. That narrative has since been repeated nearly verbatim every time a 'famous' atheist dies (Madeline O'Hair, Dawson, etc.).

[Updated on: Fri, 27 March 2020 18:45]




"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76683 is a reply to message #76678] Fri, 27 March 2020 20:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Talo: that is a lovely quote, and exauisite use of words.

I am not familiar with Lauren F Winner, but now need to do some research!



Bensiamin
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #76684 is a reply to message #76683] Fri, 27 March 2020 21:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Bensiamin wrote on Fri, 27 March 2020 20:48"
Talo: that is a lovely quote, and exauisite use of words.

I am not familiar with Lauren F Winner, but now need to do some research!

--
I have noticed that those with the best words,  also those with  the best tunes, seem to espouse a deity. I wonder why they feel the need to craft their words  so carefully.

Odd, how it is also said that the devil has all the best tunes. Bizarre that the Orange devil running the USA says he has the best words.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77331 is a reply to message #76654] Thu, 17 September 2020 16:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Simon is currently offline  Simon   United Kingdom

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I cannot believe in something that is a concept for which it's manifestation can be attributed to other phenomena 
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77332 is a reply to message #77331] Thu, 17 September 2020 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Simon: Your statement, I cannot believe in something that is a concept for which it's manifestation can be attributed to other phenomena, makes perfect sense on the face of it, when viewed logically.

However, most people (sadly!) do not look at theism or atheism logically. Rather, they look at it and understand it through the lens of whatever religious upbringing or perspective they carry with them.

I'd ask you to expand on precisely what you mean by your final phrase "can be attributed to other phenomena."

The problem most people face with atheism is one I tried to develop in the "Revelation & Redemption" series, that the set up is in literalism. That is, literally understanding a theos as "no god."

That is a non-starter for most Jews, Christians and Muslims because deep in their religious DNA is the understanding that there is a god, and to accept atheism is to deny that. One of the major teachings of Jospeh Campbell was about the role of myth as metaphor, and this is where the three major religions have gone off the rails (in my view!) becuase they have turned the metaphorical into the literal.

When one is trapped in the literalism space, then a major challenge is the binary one of deciding Yes/No, there is/isn't a god (or gods). When understood as metaphor, that does not need to occur. One understands that the role of the myth (i.e. of religion) is to teach us about who we are, where we came from and where we are going in mythological terms.



Bensiamin
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77333 is a reply to message #77332] Fri, 18 September 2020 03:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"Bensiamin wrote on Thu, 17 September 2020 10:53"
...is to teach us about who we are, where we came from and where we are going in mythological terms.

--
This makes sense on some level witth me, but I keep coming back to the questiton of if it's a myth, what good does it serve to teach us anything. I've been around this particular barn many times in recent years, and especially since you so wonderfully worked it into the Jackson/David series.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77336 is a reply to message #77333] Fri, 18 September 2020 15:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Teddy;

At it's most basic level, it's simply that as a result of being sentient beings who think, homo sapiens also questiond. Consciously and unconsciously we question, and that includes the Big Questions of life, and that's the role of mythology: to provide answers to the questions.

That is not to say that the answers provided are literal and factually correct. Rather, that they serve the purpose of providing purpose and direction at various points in one's life. Think Santa Claus and all the messaging associated with that person about values such as charity, compassion, acceptance, etc. By the time most people are eight or ten years old, they now Santa Claus is a mythological figure (excepting those who read Geron's Charlie Boone stories who know something else!), but what they've learned from Santa Claus stays with them.

The problem comes with the myth is made literal because it becomes more and more specific and more and more controlling, and one only need look at most organized religions to see how that works!



Bensiamin
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77341 is a reply to message #77336] Sat, 19 September 2020 01:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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A while back, a friend of mine and I had a somewhat similar conversation via e-mail, and he made a rather interesting comment along those lines (the last couple of sentences is something in particular that perhaps we should all keep in mind, regardless of our particular stance on the topic of science and religion):

"I am more middle ground. I don't think it unreasonable to believe life and our universe may have arisen from a C/creator, but from clear evidence I also think evolution is real.

The issue is at both extremes (atheists/fundamentalists).  In this day and age we still haven't managed to create life out of base elements.  The solar system is perfectly aligned to support life on Earth (Earth is the perfect distance from the Sun; Jupiter's gravity protects us from harmful asteroids and meteors; Mars and the Moon are final shields).  The odds of life arising and staying alive long enough to go through evolution in any planet or solar system are just infinitesimally small.  Add to that the fact that even current physicists now theorize this universe could perhaps a form of virtual reality world (leading to an analogous possibility of heavens, hell universes, etc.).  Even black holes may not actually be "holes" but supermasses.  Science theories change All. The. Time.

Our universe is weird and mysterious.  We shouldn't make absolute statements because we still know almost nothing."
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77342 is a reply to message #77336] Sat, 19 September 2020 04:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"Bensiamin wrote on Fri, 18 September 2020 08:32"
Teddy;

At it's most basic level, it's simply that as a result of being sentient beings who think, homo sapiens also questiond. Consciously and unconsciously we question, and that includes the Big Questions of life, and that's the role of mythology: to provide answers to the questions.

That is not to say that the answers provided are literal and factually correct. Rather, that they serve the purpose of providing purpose and direction at various points in one's life. Think Santa Claus and all the messaging associated with that person about values such as charity, compassion, acceptance, etc. By the time most people are eight or ten years old, they now Santa Claus is a mythological figure (excepting those who read Geron's Charlie Boone stories who know something else!), but what they've learned from Santa Claus stays with them.

The problem comes with the myth is made literal because it becomes more and more specific and more and more controlling, and one only need look at most organized religions to see how that works!

--
Thank-you for your reply. The Santa Claus metafore allowed the final pennies to drop. I had the basic idea but was still missing part of it. Now I've got clarity. I'm participating in another discussion elsewhere right now between some conservative evangelicals and a group of apostates like myself with a few moderates thrown in between. They're arguing the usefulness of religion in society... Wink

I've noticed in my studies and reading over my life that the same myths pop up over and over again amongs diverse peoples who are widely spread across our planet. The basic plot of the myths are the same with predictibale variations. Makes me wonder if they're all descended from a common ancestrry or if as "sentient beings who think" we naturally arrive independently at the same basic mythology.

[Updated on: Sat, 19 September 2020 04:21]




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77344 is a reply to message #77342] Sat, 19 September 2020 04:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Do you exist when you are asleep? You only ever remember fragments of your dreams, if anything at all. But you wouldn't deny that you exist, asleep as awake, conscious or unconscious.

Do you exist when you are dead? You might only remember fragments or nothing at all. The odd thing is, a lot of people think when you are dead there is nothing. How do you know there is nothing? You simply believe that, without knowing.

You may not call life after death anything at all. You may not call existence God. It matters very little. You probably have been around before, but like being asleep, you don't remember. 

That is the crucial thing, remembering. It can only happen when the recorder is running. It might well be running all the time, recording everything, but you can't get it all back on replay. Still, not being able to replay memories doesn't necessarily mean that the recorder was switched off or nothing happened.

The only scary thing about death is you, who you are now, never comes back. You are gone, dead, moved on. I have little doubt that you still exist, just not you, not at all you. But then are you, you?

Do you remember when you were twelve years old? You only remember fragments and yet the recorder was running all the time. Now when you replay those memories, are they you?

The memories come without the feelings. That was you certainly, but it is no longer you. Like death, you are gone, moved on. There is little doubt that you still exist, just that you are a different you than you were when you were twelve years old. 

You can replay a few memories, warped with time. You are never quite certain of how much was real and what you might have changed. All that really exists is a faint memory labelled, that was good, or that was bad. You wonder if those memories made you who you are today? 

Not the memories, the choices are responsible for that. Did you really choose? You cannot even be certain you did. It seems evident that you chose one way or another, and yet you sometimes feel like your life is your destiny. 

You talk to yourself all the time. You hold a continuous conversation with yourself. You also talk to other people, who appear to be seperate because you see them and hear the distance between you. Your own voice comes from the top of your head. Have you ever noticed when talking to yourself that your voice comes from the top of your head. So far up at the top of your head, are you sure it's inside you? 

It is for now, not when you are dead. When you are dead that voice still carries on a conversation, only it's not inside you. Does the recorder record. Sure, but it's totally irrelevant. You only need the recorder to know you are you, seperate from them, but you're not. Not exactly you, not exactly seperate.

[Updated on: Sat, 19 September 2020 05:05]

Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77345 is a reply to message #77344] Sat, 19 September 2020 12:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Camy is currently offline  Camy   United Kingdom

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This is a fascinating thread. If I required a label it would be Atheist, though I was brought up CofE (if you got into the choir you were allowed to skip the lunch queue), most of my friends are Buddhist.

George Carlin provides a worthwhile lesson for those yet undecided:




"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: Music and Cats." - Albert Schweitzer

It's like Mad Max out here: guys doing guys, girls doing girls, girls turning into guys and doing girls that used to do girls and guys!
- from Alex Truelove
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77346 is a reply to message #77345] Sat, 19 September 2020 15:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Camy: the first part of the Carlin bit is not only brilliant, but is the perfect example and description of religion in contrast to myth and the role of mythology.

Ironic how, as he describes religion, it gets more specific, and more controlling, and needs more and more money!

[Updated on: Sat, 19 September 2020 16:11]




Bensiamin
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77351 is a reply to message #77346] Sun, 20 September 2020 11:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Camy is currently offline  Camy   United Kingdom

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"Bensiamin wrote on Sat, 19 September 2020 16:08"
Camy: the first part of the Carlin bit is not only brilliant, but is the perfect example and description of religion in contrast to myth and the role of mythology.

Ironic how, as he describes religion, it gets more specific, and more controlling, and needs more and more money!

--
Absolutely. It's my 'go to' piece whenever people start talking religion. I have a relative who, try as I might, I do not understand. He's a staunch Roman Catholic who went ballistic when a friend was cremated. I pointed out that The Catholic faith allows cremation and was told he is a traditionalist - there was a schism in the 1960s.
Frankly, blind faith bewilders me.



"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: Music and Cats." - Albert Schweitzer

It's like Mad Max out here: guys doing guys, girls doing girls, girls turning into guys and doing girls that used to do girls and guys!
- from Alex Truelove
Re: I have some questions about Atheism  [message #77353 is a reply to message #77351] Sun, 20 September 2020 15:06 Go to previous message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"Camy wrote on Sun, 20 September 2020 04:00"
Frankly, blind faith bewilders me.

--
True believers in anythting are always suspect. True believers have built the box around themselves and are no longer objective thinkers. They are no longer able to entertain input that challenges their belief or threatens deconstruction of the box. 

[Updated on: Sun, 20 September 2020 15:07]




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
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