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  1. #1
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    Default A question for Atheists AND Agnostics

    I didn't want to take that other thread off onto another tangent so hence my spinoff. Here's what Fluffywolf wrote that prompted me to make this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post

    Atheism is not about rejecting all beliefs. Atheism is about questioning all beliefs and not following any with blind faith. I can't be sure there's absolutely no form of higher power, diety or God present. But that doesn't mean I have to believe in it.
    I understand what you mean here because Atheist friends of mine have the shared the same viewpoint. I've also been told Atheism is the most rational of the "faiths" (yes, I believe it takes great faith to be Atheist). This may come across as offensive, but my personal belief is that Atheism is one of the least rational, especially to those who can't be sure there isn't a higher power. Using a simple process of elimination, if one is genuinely rational, it seems like they'd become compelled to practice a religion.

    Why? Well for sake of simpler illustration I'll start with the most populous religions out there: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. They teach about life and death. Hinduism and Buddhism relate more to cylces and apart from re-incarnation (which I see as a form of hellish existence, yet not absolute or perpetual suffering) the afterlife isn't emphasized as much as the two other religions. The hints of afterlife (ie. nirvana) honestly don't seem like that great of a reward to me... I'd prefer having more intimacy with those who are dear to me now as opposed to just an individual eternal state peace or nothingness which sounds a little lonely to me. With these two religions, the highs don't seem as high and the lows don't seem as low to me when compared to the next two.

    So I move on to Christianity and Islam, which make clearly clear the eternal consequences of our actions. I end up with Christianity. Why? The Christian God doesn't appear as transient or disconnected from humans as the Islamic. The Christian God is Illustrated as very loving, merciful, and gracious, just, slow to anger, etc. Furthermore, through my personal studies, I've seen great evidences and prophecies the Bible has fulfilled unlike the Qu'ran (both claimed divine inspiration). At the same time, Hell is a real and clearly defined consequence to those who reject Him (same goes for Islam). Now, if I were an atheist/agnostic, and could actually grasp what eternity means (for ever and ever and ever without ceasing), committing myself to avoid endless suffering/torment would be enough for me to choose one of those two religions that have the most dire eternal consequences (of course this isn't the right way to approach these belief systems--out of sheer fear--but i'm just illustrating pure rational thought here). On the other hand, the beauty, fellowship and absolute perfection described for those who keep the faith (Christianity) are second to none. So the lows are really low, but the highs are exceedingly high! It's because of it's extreme benefits, its consistency through my study, and it's irreversible consequences that Christianity makes most sense to me (remember this is just my rational viewpoint, I'm not adding what I believe by faith or personal conviction).

    So why, if I were an atheist/agnostic, would I choose Christianity? Well, let's say atheists were right, Christians were wrong... no god; we all disappear when we die and that's it. Even if it were the case, what did Christians lose out on in life? Nothing. Christians still enjoyed life to the fullest, they still loved, they still laughed, they still worked, they still had families, and even more so, they did it with an uncommonly joyful heart because of the hope (even if in vain) inside of them. It's a joy that's not as clearly defined by Islam in my opinion. If Christians are right? Wow....there wouldn't be words to describe the awesomeness.

    What do atheists/agnostics have to lose if they're wrong? Even if it's not the consequence of Christianity, but of some other belief system? Wouldn't it make most "logical sense" to at least commit oneself on to some belief? Say Christians and atheists are both wrong--wouldn't that still make the Christian more rational by believing in at least Something Unknown?

    I say all this in love. It's just what goes through my head sometimes and my true intentions aren't to belittle anyone.

    Well, maybe the title of this thread is a bit misleading because I don't have one specific question, but I welcome your opinions on this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyPaste View Post
    What do atheists/agnostics have to lose if they're wrong?
    Approximately nothing. We can only choose one belief out of all possible beliefs, leading to a 1/infinite chance of being correct. The end result is essentially a zero loss.

    However, the gain is that by not using a statistically improbable choice to guide our currently known life, we optimize the choices we make. (This is in regards to theistic belief - I'm an atheist because I do not hold theistic belief - so there is an upfront loss to believing, as you lose all other potential belief sets, rarely chosen on merit.)

    Say Christians and atheists were wrong--wouldn't that still make the Christian more rational by believing in at least Something Unknown?
    I don't believe that there are purple hippos on the moon, or black dragons: is that more rational than someone who believes either? Should I believe in them simply because it would make me more rational to those that do believe?

  3. #3
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyPaste View Post
    So why, if I were an atheist/agnostic, would I choose Christianity? Well, let's say atheists were right, Christians were wrong... no god; we all disappear when we die and that's it. Even if it were the case, what did Christians lose out on in life? Nothing.
    I don't think that's exactly true. When you believe or suspect that you only live once, you might put a higher priority on happiness and joy in this life, rather than limiting yourself worrying about obeying rules and guidelines for a better chance of qualifying into Heaven and avoiding eternal damnation. Sounds like a lot of pressure.

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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    I don't think that's exactly true. When you believe or suspect that you only live once, you might put a higher priority on happiness and joy in this life, rather than limiting yourself worrying about obeying rules and guidelines for a better chance of qualifying into Heaven and avoiding eternal damnation. Sounds like a lot of pressure.
    How are you aware of such pressure? Did you believe at one point in your life?
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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    I think a lot of Atheists just look at the mainstream religions, dismiss them because they don't make sense, and don't think about the issue anymore. They just aren't concerned with how the world was started or with anything higher, so they go to science. Science doesn't really tell us much about what made us or anything, so that's what they go by. It's the concrete "faith" (or whatever you want to call it). They want these things to be proved to them, and since most mainstream religion has no concrete proof or anything like that then it's dismissed as irrational.

    Atheists probably don't care about what Christians do or believe in... Or at least it doesn't have much of a value to them. The heaven and hell theory... well... Prove it. Prove it to them and they will believe it. This issue is one of seeing vs believing.

    Wouldn't it make most "logical sense" to at least commit oneself on to some belief?
    They believe in what they see to be rational, true, and concrete. They don't know if something unknown exists, so they don't believe in it. It's quite simple.

    No one has anything to lose if they are right or wrong. When we all die, we will find out what happens. It makes the most sense to me to say that the same thing probably happens to all of us when we die... We were all birthed into this world the same way, so why not leave it the same way?
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by professor goodstain View Post
    How are you aware of such pressure? Did you believe at one point in your life?
    I think threats of damnation would to some degree put pressure on anyone.

    I believed at one point, though I'm not sure it was genuine, but it wasn't Hell that got to me, it was the concept of eternity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    I don't think that's exactly true. When you believe or suspect that you only live once, you might put a higher priority on happiness and joy in this life, rather than limiting yourself worrying about obeying rules and guidelines for a better chance of qualifying into Heaven and avoiding eternal damnation. Sounds like a lot of pressure.
    Really and what rules are those? The inspired Word of God tells me that all I need to be saved is to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior from sin. What other qualifications do you speak of?

    @ptgatsby: Thanks for your response. It gives me an insight of where you're coming from.

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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Imo. I think athiests, agnostics and conctrete believers have one thing in common...the believe in some Karma at some level. i think it's a built in sensaling buried very deep back there that is a property common to all.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  9. #9
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyPaste View Post
    Really and what rules are those? The inspired Word of God tells me that all I need to be saved is to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior from sin. What other qualifications do you speak of?
    The Bible says that, but then it also goes on to say things like this:

    "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matthew 12:31-32; see also Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10).

    "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched. . . . And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched. . . . And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire" (Mark 9:43-47; see also Matthew 5:29-30; 18:8-9; Luke 20:46-47).

    "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. . . . For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).

    And these quotes are from the New Testament, which is a lot less harsh than the Old Testament.

  10. #10
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    I think threats of damnation would to some degree put pressure on anyone.

    I believed at one point, though I'm not sure it was genuine, but it wasn't Hell that got to me, it was the concept of eternity.
    Threats of damnation are negated by forgiveness. If a christian is found to have committed infidelity after asking for forgiveness, i will surely see them in hell.

    I could be wrong but the concept of eternity parallels the concept of space being endless. At what point do the two end.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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