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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I think it's easier to surrender yourself to a belief. You don't have to think, analyze and deal with the pain of finding less than ideal realities or possibilities. But I don't think it is in any way better unless you don't have the intellectual capacity to even question your own beliefs.
    I dont know how to but I'd like to have been able to post YLJ's post along with this, it intrigues me.

    The simpleton theory of religion is a bit flattering toward the athiest or non-believer but how often do you encounter people who are genuinely like that?

    The easy life that each of you describe is not one which I'm familiar with as a believer, not something that I associate with either modern or ancient beliefs, except rhetorically, and in theory the state of comfortable intellectual numbness could be associated with anything, belief or non-belief, as a kind of psychological coping strategy or ego defence.

    From the totalitarian systems of history and today to the brotherhood of street gangs or outlaw bikers suspending disbelief and becoming comfortably complicit is all part of it.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I don't know about statistics, but I believe I live in one of the most atheistic countries in the world. It is weird.. I don't know what most of my family thinks about religion, the subject is nonexistent here. It's not like hush-hush, it's just that no one is interested in it. I guess that makes the religious people stand out. And often negatively.
    I reckon this is how the idea of God will pass out of the world, not with a bang but a wimper.

    The only ones I've had problems with are the ones who think they have it figured out and like to point out that I am not doing as well as they are... They don't beat themselves, as they already know they are saved, but instead they use religion to project on anyone who is less than perfect. Compared to them I would rather have the lazy live-and-let-live atheist.
    Well, there are athiests who believe that way too so I see it as being less to do with the ideas than to do with the personality or character structures of the individuals professing them. Mind you, at particular times and places or contexts the ideas are vehicles for or channels for that sort of character structure. Anyone who is on a ego trip and professes to be Christian is mistaken.

    I very much agree. And to be fair, there aren't many of the folks I am talking about, but they are so noisy that they are more likely to be remembered than the good guys. One of them was a pregnant lady with a bicycle. I was walking to the store and had the worst hang-over, needed something to level it off, she came the opposite direction. She had a load of groceries on the handle of the bike and the baby and quite cheap looking clothes, and as I was passing by she looked at me and said "May God bless you" or something like that, and I just froze there unable to reply anything... From my point of view she had it tough taking care of her family with limited resources, but she was the one to empathize with my hang-over...

    The other one was my room mate. He was from Ghana and he had the best interpretation of Christianity I've ever heard of. There was no blame game that you ordinarily find whenever believers are around... He was like "If God didn't want us to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, why did he put them on the shelves of the supermarket?" For him there was no evil, except "mental slavery". I talked with him a lot about his way of being a Christian, and it was the most attractive version of Christianity I've come across. There definitely was a strong aspect of self-improvement in it, and not in terms of what you do, but what you think, kinda... I don't know, it's hard to explain, but it wasn't like this list of dos and donts that they have in this western kind of Christianity.
    Well that is the sort of belief that I profess and many like me, although I know where you are coming from, someone spoke at our church just last week about an adult education course he had attended for faith development and about how he had discovered an alternative to rules, fear and controlling religion, I sort of sat and listened and wondered where this experience had come from because it wasnt mine.

    What rules and guidance exist I find no burden because its just that, guidance, its good news after all, there's a good life to be had if you want it. What prohibitions there are arent exclusive to religion in any way and I can think of lots of secular or rationalist reasons for, for instance, not abusing alcohol, smoking cigarettes or sleeping around.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Lucas's Avatar
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    For me, I think it is far easier to live without, because I would probably be very conflicted about any religion I believed in.

    On the one hand, I would have my own faith, and on the other I would have my eternal questioning, and there would be interrogations, and probably hot pokers.

    Easier to just say "we cannot know", and be agnostic.
    "Those are my principles and if you don't like them......well, I have others"

    -Groucho Marx

    "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

    - Frederich Nietzsche

  4. #64
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont know how to but I'd like to have been able to post YLJ's post along with this, it intrigues me.

    The simpleton theory of religion is a bit flattering toward the athiest or non-believer but how often do you encounter people who are genuinely like that?

    The easy life that each of you describe is not one which I'm familiar with as a believer, not something that I associate with either modern or ancient beliefs, except rhetorically, and in theory the state of comfortable intellectual numbness could be associated with anything, belief or non-belief, as a kind of psychological coping strategy or ego defence.

    From the totalitarian systems of history and today to the brotherhood of street gangs or outlaw bikers suspending disbelief and becoming comfortably complicit is all part of it.
    I don't understand what you are trying to say. You don't feel you live an easier life because of your beliefs?

    It's just as simple as, you have some answers for a few questions that I do not. You know you are either going to hell or heaven when you die, for example. I could end up anywhere really. It's easier if you compare two people who are similar, only difference being their religious beliefs. It's theoretically easier.

    But, I think if it's a belief that stays with you throughout the years (if it's truly a belief, and not just a lie you tell yourself - which, I've been there, used to be catholic, was a choir boy and confirmed and all) you have to get something out of it. Certain mental and even physical battles will be easier.

  5. #65
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    Don't really need an imaginary friend to live my life well, so I'm gonna say without.
    “My generation's apathy. I'm disgusted with it. I'm disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whinning about for years.” -Kurt Cobain

  6. #66
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well, there are athiests who believe that way too so I see it as being less to do with the ideas than to do with the personality or character structures of the individuals professing them. Mind you, at particular times and places or contexts the ideas are vehicles for or channels for that sort of character structure.
    ---
    What rules and guidance exist I find no burden because its just that, guidance, its good news after all, there's a good life to be had if you want it. What prohibitions there are arent exclusive to religion in any way and I can think of lots of secular or rationalist reasons for, for instance, not abusing alcohol, smoking cigarettes or sleeping around.
    Yes you are right, it isn't about Christianity itself. Maybe it is one of the only places for people to go to when they are feeling like they need some meaning in their lives. That is the only thing I am worried about the rise of atheism. If people stay in the meaningless state, then we are in lots of trouble.

  7. #67
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Easier if you're a coward or/and 'not too good with your head' maybe.
    But that later point is discutable.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

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    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I don't understand what you are trying to say. You don't feel you live an easier life because of your beliefs?

    It's just as simple as, you have some answers for a few questions that I do not. You know you are either going to hell or heaven when you die, for example. I could end up anywhere really. It's easier if you compare two people who are similar, only difference being their religious beliefs. It's theoretically easier.

    But, I think if it's a belief that stays with you throughout the years (if it's truly a belief, and not just a lie you tell yourself - which, I've been there, used to be catholic, was a choir boy and confirmed and all) you have to get something out of it. Certain mental and even physical battles will be easier.
    I dont know anything, I'm in the exact some position as you.

    Belief is not to know this, belief is just some faith.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yes you are right, it isn't about Christianity itself. Maybe it is one of the only places for people to go to when they are feeling like they need some meaning in their lives. That is the only thing I am worried about the rise of atheism. If people stay in the meaningless state, then we are in lots of trouble.
    Well I heard a good radio piece this morning suggesting that the decline in religion meant that people did not have bible stories told to them when they where growing up and they had more to say that simply believe in God, they incalcate historical imagination and norms which whether people abandon them in whole or in part in later life provided previous societies with a framework to begin with.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont know anything, I'm in the exact some position as you.

    Belief is not to know this, belief is just some faith.
    I've met some fervent believers that would say otherwise. If your faith is not something you can trust in the same way as knowing, what is the point of being religious though? If it's not shedding light into anything...I don't see the point. I'm already a good christian in many ways without going to church so I doubt my daily life habits would change. But if I don't "know" anything I can trust...I don't get it.

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