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Author Topic:   Motivations for the non-belief in God
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6565
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 1 of 89 (294135)
03-10-2006 6:17 PM


In another thread Rawel Singh writes:

I really find it very surprising to see some people opposing everything that is connected with the divine. I have been studying this phenomenon for some time and have come to the view that there are basically two reasons for this. Firstly accepting that some thing has been done or assisted by divine dilutes the ego of man or woman.A hardworking person would attribute all success to his or her intelligence and hard work. Doubtless these are essential cotributors to success. But how often do we grieve when we do not achieve something or lose it? Have the husband and wife been successful on every attempt when they wanted to have a baby? Secondly belief in divine requires adherence to cetain ethical disciplines. Those who do not want to subject themselves to discipline deny the very existence or help of God.

I think that this explanation for the disbelief of atheists (and non-belief of agnostics) says more about Rawel Singh and other like minded theists than it does about atheists and agnostics. I disagree that these conclusions can be made by observing the behavior of atheists as compared to Christians; in fact, the statements of atheists themselves give very different (and varied) reasons for their disbelief.

It might be interesting to start a thread to ask evangelical Christians (and other like minded theists) if they truly believe that Rawel has accurately described the reasons an atheist does not believe in God. If so, why do they believe this? Undoubtably many atheists and agnostics will surely describe why they believe as they do; why cannot their own statements be accepted at face value? Do the evangelicals who will continue to subscribe to Rawel's thesis despite the responses of the atheists and agnostics have their own motives for their beliefs?


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AdminNWR
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Message 2 of 89 (294136)
03-10-2006 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
03-10-2006 6:17 PM


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  • This message is a reply to:
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    nwr
    Member
    Posts: 5585
    From: Geneva, Illinois
    Joined: 08-08-2005


    Message 3 of 89 (294149)
    03-10-2006 6:59 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
    03-10-2006 6:17 PM


    Imagination gone wild?
    Rawel Singh seems to have been over imaginitive in his attempt to explain atheism.

    The simplest explanation is that atheism is simpler than religious belief. You avoid having to be involved in weekly ritualistic exercise, and perhaps other more frequent rituals. You can watch that football game, or play golf, instead of having to attend church.

    Others, I am sure, have made a conscious decision. They have examined Christianity, and found the evidence for its foundational principles to be lacking.

    I doubt Rawel Singh's view about ethics. The atheists I known are very moral people, and I have had serious questions about the morality of some of the Christians I have known.

    Maybe the question should also be turned around. What is the explanation for being a Christian? I would guess that in many cases it is simply a matter of going along with family cultural traditions. Doubtless some have made conscious decisions based on the Christian message, but I suspect those to be a minority.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Chiroptera, posted 03-10-2006 6:17 PM Chiroptera has responded

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    Chiroptera
    Member
    Posts: 6565
    From: Oklahoma
    Joined: 09-28-2003
    Member Rating: 4.8


    Message 4 of 89 (294150)
    03-10-2006 7:10 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by nwr
    03-10-2006 6:59 PM


    Re: Imagination gone wild?
    quote:
    I would guess that in many cases it is simply a matter of going along with family cultural traditions.

    One thing that a lot of people continue to claim is that people accept Christianity because they are afraid of death and need the idea of an afterlife.

    I could come up with other reasons, like people accept Christianity because they need an outside agent to give meaning and purpose to their lives. As for me, it was a very difficult process when I stopped being a Christian and became an atheist. One of the biggest concerns I had was the idea that without a deity, morality would be relative and I could not determine right from wrong. The other was the fear that without a belief in Christianity, there might be no justice in the end: the good would live in misery with no recompense in the here after, while the wicked could reap the benefits of their wickedness in this life with no punishment. These are the ideas that made the transition to atheism very difficult; I will repeat what I have said before: I did not choose to not believe in God, whatever the evangelicals claim.

    But I am not going to make any kind of universal claim as to why people choose the beliefs that they do. I am quite certain that the reasons people believe what they do are diverse. I do remain curious, however, if people really do feel they "know" why other people believe what they do, and why insist on it even if the other people claim otherwise.


    "Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
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    ReverendDG
    Member (Idle past 2248 days)
    Posts: 1119
    From: Topeka,kansas
    Joined: 06-06-2005


    Message 5 of 89 (294154)
    03-10-2006 7:32 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
    03-10-2006 6:17 PM


    For me moving from belief in the christian god stems from a lot of the same reasons many people stop believing. Such as "where was god when my mother died? or in the case of a rape victim where was god when i got attacked.
    there is no solid reason for losing faith, many people lose faith over the texts confusing and contrary nature. such as say a homosexual who believes in christ but is condemmed for his/her feelings - without christianity they wouldn't feel this way

    i lost my faith when i realized i never once felt god or cared about worshiping him, when i felt a void where god should be

    as for rewel singh, he knows nothing about why athiests do not believe, he is doing what all people who equate morals with god do, they say anyone who does not follow the moral laws of god are immoral some how


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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30941
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004


    Message 6 of 89 (294156)
    03-10-2006 7:42 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
    03-10-2006 6:17 PM


    I'm not too sure about a couple of the assertions.
    Secondly belief in divine requires adherence to cetain ethical disciplines.

    It's been my experience that in most cases belief in some divinity has nothing what so ever to do with whether or not a person is ethical. While someone might think that belief in a divinity would entail adherence to certain ethical disciplines, my experience is that very often those who profess the greatest belief in their diety are the least ethical. Just look at the transcripts from the recent Dover trial and look at the number of times the so called religious witnesses lied.

    Those who do not want to subject themselves to discipline deny the very existence or help of God.

    Again, the only difference I see between those who are religious and those who are not, is that those who are not seem to be more disciplined than most of those who are religious. In addition, the Atheists and Agnostics seem to be far more likely to take responsibility for their actions and less likely to try to absolve themselves through cop outs like original sin or demons.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
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    Michael
    Member (Idle past 2775 days)
    Posts: 199
    From: USA
    Joined: 05-14-2005


    Message 7 of 89 (294157)
    03-10-2006 7:44 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by nwr
    03-10-2006 6:59 PM


    another explanation
    The simplest explanation is that atheism is simpler than religious belief. You avoid having to be involved in weekly ritualistic exercise, and perhaps other more frequent rituals. You can watch that football game, or play golf, instead of having to attend church.

    Others, I am sure, have made a conscious decision. They have examined Christianity, and found the evidence for its foundational principles to be lacking.

    Then some have not got to the point where they feel Christianity (or Scientology, or Buddhism, etc.) even merits consideration. In the case of Christianity, the world I see does not require the existence of a creator, much less a personal god, to explain it. I first want to see something that makes me believe that there is something of a supernatural nature (poor wording, perhaps) in our universe before I go investigating it.


    This message is a reply to:
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    Chronos
    Member (Idle past 4363 days)
    Posts: 102
    From: Macomb, Mi, USA
    Joined: 10-23-2005


    Message 8 of 89 (294181)
    03-10-2006 10:04 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
    03-10-2006 6:17 PM


    I'm not exactly sure you can pick and choose these sorts of beliefs. I never really thought to myself "Golly gee, I think I'll be an atheist today!" Perhaps one can choose to read certain books and participate in certain discussions that lead them to unbelief, but that's very different from simply choosing to be an atheist. In my case, I went from being a Christian who was glad God existed to being an atheist who wished for God to exist. Why the hell would I choose that?

    Maybe Raweley-Ol'-Boy should consider that some atheists believe as they do because of sound arguments. Seems like he's trying to paint us infidels as rebellious to confirm his own beliefs.


    This message is a reply to:
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    Chiroptera
    Member
    Posts: 6565
    From: Oklahoma
    Joined: 09-28-2003
    Member Rating: 4.8


    Message 9 of 89 (294356)
    03-11-2006 7:15 PM
    Reply to: Message 8 by Chronos
    03-10-2006 10:04 PM


    quote:
    Perhaps one can choose to read certain books and participate in certain discussions that lead them to unbelief, but that's very different from simply choosing to be an atheist.

    To a certain degree, one has a small amount of control over ones beliefs. As you say, Chronos, one can consciously choose to refuse to read or listen to anything that might present contrary facts, and one may choose to not think deeply about issues.

    But that seems to be an admission on the part of the wilfully ignorant one that if she were to think to deeply about a subject her opinions may change against her will.


    "Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
    This message is a reply to:
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    knitrofreak
    Inactive Member


    Message 10 of 89 (298854)
    03-27-2006 10:41 PM
    Reply to: Message 5 by ReverendDG
    03-10-2006 7:32 PM


    God cares
    "he knows nothing about why athiests do not believe"

    God is all knowing omnipotenent,omnipresent,omnisciant...etc
    God does things and allows things for good. They are all part of his perfect plan which we (all who are saved through Jesus Christ) all will understand in that coming day. WE CANNOT understand Gods ways neither do we have answers to every question (like this forum) If we knew everything we would be gods which we Certainly Are NOT!

    God seeth not as man seeth for man looketh on the outword appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 *look it up*


    This message is a reply to:
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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30941
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004


    Message 11 of 89 (298860)
    03-27-2006 11:01 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by knitrofreak
    03-27-2006 10:41 PM


    Re: God cares
    well, everyone is saved, Jew and Muslim, Atheist and Agnositic, Satanist and Pagan, Taoist and Christian, unless they really screw up.

    The Bible says that the most likely Goats will Christians, believers, followers who think they are saved.

    Christian will be held to higher standards though. Read Matthew 25:31-46.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
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    ReverendDG
    Member (Idle past 2248 days)
    Posts: 1119
    From: Topeka,kansas
    Joined: 06-06-2005


    Message 12 of 89 (298893)
    03-28-2006 3:32 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by knitrofreak
    03-27-2006 10:41 PM


    Re: God cares
    what the?!
    i wasn't talking about god, i was talking about the poster, he knows nothing about why athiests do not believe, he is making a sweeping generalization
    can you at least quote me in context?
    other wise your post doesn't have anything to do with the question

    God seeth not as man seeth for man looketh on the outword appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 *look it up*

    how is this relevent to my post at all? - i'd rather not scripture is not part of this at all
    This message is a reply to:
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    Chiroptera
    Member
    Posts: 6565
    From: Oklahoma
    Joined: 09-28-2003
    Member Rating: 4.8


    Message 13 of 89 (298942)
    03-28-2006 8:35 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by knitrofreak
    03-27-2006 10:41 PM


    Re: God cares
    Hello, knitrofreak.

    I brought your attention to this thread because in another thread you made the comment:

    just the same i think evolution is a fallacy that may seem logical to those who want to make them not responsible to a higher power they may need to answer to.

    You seem to be saying that you have an understanding why people would "choose" to accept the theory of evolution. I was trying to find you whether you really do think you understand peoples' motivations, and if so why you think that your ideas on this are correct.

    Edited to correct a typo.

    This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 28-Mar-2006 01:35 PM


    "Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
    -- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)
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    robinrohan
    Inactive Member


    Message 14 of 89 (299005)
    03-28-2006 2:01 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
    03-10-2006 6:17 PM


    Undoubtably many atheists and agnostics will surely describe why they believe as they do; why cannot their own statements be accepted at face value?

    This question could be asked on both sides. People are constantly, on both sides, speculating on why someone would believe something that they find incredible.

    Why do people believe in God? I've heard all sorts of reasons. Here's one from Bertrand Russell: "Religion is based, I think, primarily upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes" ("Why I am not a Christian").

    Why does Russell not accept the believer's explanations "at face value"--as you want these believers to do in regard to atheism?

    This message has been edited by robinrohan, 03-28-2006 01:01 PM


    This message is a reply to:
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    Chiroptera
    Member
    Posts: 6565
    From: Oklahoma
    Joined: 09-28-2003
    Member Rating: 4.8


    Message 15 of 89 (299009)
    03-28-2006 2:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 14 by robinrohan
    03-28-2006 2:01 PM


    I would suggest you ask Bertrand Russell that question, but unfortunately he has passed on.

    But several members on this board, namely Rawel Singh and kinitrofreak, have made claims that they know why an atheist believes as she does. As an atheist, I wrote this thread to give them an opportunity to tell me whether they really do think they understand me better than I do myself, and why they would think that.


    "Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
    -- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 14 by robinrohan, posted 03-28-2006 2:01 PM robinrohan has responded

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