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Author Topic:   Oh my God, I'm an Atheist !!
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 501 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 1 of 183 (409795)
07-11-2007 10:33 AM


This question/topic is directed towards atheists, but anyone can answer.
What spawns it, is based on my belief that we were all created to worship God, and that given Jesus's death and the deposit of the Holy Spirit, we all know God, regardless of our religion. So we all know God in our hearts/spirits, it is the world, and religion that taints us.
An atheist will go around his whole life denouncing God or claim God does not exist, but I feel that when it all comes down to it, and you are on your death bed, and you are taking your last breath, I think that will change at that moment for you.
Take some time and try to imagine what it will be like.
My question is,,, and I ask you to refrain from knee jerk responses, and preprogrammed by college answers,,,
Will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something?
You know, the one that doesn't exist?
*disclaimer: I do not blame atheists for not believing in God*

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by jar, posted 07-11-2007 10:45 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 4 by PaulK, posted 07-11-2007 11:08 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 5 by Percy, posted 07-11-2007 11:20 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 07-11-2007 11:35 AM riVeRraT has not replied
 Message 7 by Tusko, posted 07-11-2007 11:37 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 8 by NosyNed, posted 07-11-2007 11:49 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 9 by Taz, posted 07-11-2007 2:13 PM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 11 by ringo, posted 07-11-2007 4:29 PM riVeRraT has not replied
 Message 13 by Modulous, posted 07-11-2007 5:44 PM riVeRraT has not replied
 Message 14 by Dr Jack, posted 07-11-2007 6:08 PM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 29 by AnswersInGenitals, posted 07-11-2007 7:47 PM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 37 by ikabod, posted 07-12-2007 7:01 AM riVeRraT has not replied
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Message 2 of 183 (409796)
07-11-2007 10:34 AM


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  • jar
    Member
    Posts: 34062
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 4.8


    Message 3 of 183 (409798)
    07-11-2007 10:45 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    Not at all sure of any reasoning here.
    My question is,,, and I ask you to refrain from knee jerk responses, and preprogrammed by college answers,,,
    Will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something?
    You know, the one that doesn't exist?
    Why would they?
    What spawns it, is based on my belief that we were all created to worship God, and that given Jesus's death and the deposit of the Holy Spirit, we all know God, regardless of our religion.
    You have never explained how someone could identify "the Holy Spirit", so how is that pertinent?
    In addition, "we were all created to worship God" seems like a pretty small and worthless purpose that could only be the desire of a small and worthless god. If that actually is why people were created, why would anyone even care about such a picayune god?

    Aslan is not a Tame Lion

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 10 by Taz, posted 07-11-2007 2:21 PM jar has not replied
     Message 18 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:44 PM jar has replied

    PaulK
    Member
    Posts: 17838
    Joined: 01-10-2003
    Member Rating: 3.8


    Message 4 of 183 (409799)
    07-11-2007 11:08 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    quote:
    What spawns it, is based on my belief that we were all created to worship God, and that given Jesus's death and the deposit of the Holy Spirit, we all know God, regardless of our religion. So we all know God in our hearts/spirits, it is the world, and religion that taints us.
    Well there's a problem to start off with. I DON'T know God. If there's a real God out there I don't know anything about him/her/it. So there's something badly wrong with your premise.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 15 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:29 PM PaulK has replied

    Percy
    Member
    Posts: 22619
    From: New Hampshire
    Joined: 12-23-2000
    Member Rating: 4.4


    Message 5 of 183 (409800)
    07-11-2007 11:20 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    I'm not an atheist or agnostic, but my views on God are so far outside anything dreamt of in traditional religion that I think I can safely answer this question:
    riVeRraT writes:
    When it all comes down to it, and you are on your death bed, and you are taking your last breath,...will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something? You know, the one that doesn't exist?
    I do not doubt that one day I will die. When that day finally comes, since I had no doubt it would one day come, its actual arrival provides me no more evidence for the existence of God than I had before.
    I guess there's a few possible reasons for your questioning about atheist deathbed conversions. One is that you think it would be from some fear that after death there's nothing.
    Another possibility is that you think atheists deep inside understand there really is a God, but they deny God because they want an excuse to free themselves from moral behavior. On their deathbed they'll realize their error and beg forgiveness.
    Yet another possibility is that you think God will provide some kind of deathbed revelation that will open atheistic eyes to the God they've previously denied.
    I consider all these possibilities unlikely. Death is not something atheists don't think about until it actually happens, atheists are not immoral, and the record of atheist deathbed conversions is very poor.
    --Percy

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 17 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:39 PM Percy has replied
     Message 68 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 10:50 AM Percy has replied

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 151 days)
    Posts: 10333
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 6 of 183 (409802)
    07-11-2007 11:35 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    Not Really
    Will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something?
    You know, the one that doesn't exist?
    No.
    However -
    I can see that on ones deathbed the delusion of life after death may suddenly seem very appealing. I can also appreciate that in that situation, out of fear, desperation etc. a last ditch hope that there is an afterlife may be quite possible. It also seems quite likely that all the related parephenalia (gods, souls, spirits etc.) that whichever afterlife you are hoping for demands, will also suddenly seem that much more necessary.
    But which afterlife and which God do you turn to?
    This will surely depend on the culture in which you were raised and can have no objectively right answer.
    In short, all the same rational reasons for disbelief remain true at the point of death but the irrational emotional ones for believing in anything to avoid facing non-existence are that much stronger.
    I for one definitely will not be turning to God at the last minute.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has not replied

    Tusko
    Member (Idle past 186 days)
    Posts: 615
    From: London, UK
    Joined: 10-01-2004


    Message 7 of 183 (409804)
    07-11-2007 11:37 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    You sound like you want to short-circuit any debate and hear an atheist say what you desperately want them to say: namely that we all secretly know the Christian God exists, and that for all the bluster we all secretly fear him. I can't speak for anybody else, but I think that its very unlikely that the Christian God exists.
    However, I was raised for the first ten years of my life going to church, and the idea of the Christian God is probably seated pretty deep in my sense of self somewhere. Although unlikely, I can imagine in my dying seconds formulating some kind of prayer to the almighty - its possible, especially in stressful circumstances - but what would that prove? I think it indicates more a human fear of death and the unknown rather than the fact that the knowledge of a Christian God's existence is hidden within us all. After all - if I'd been raised as a lapsed Muslim then I could very well do the same thing to Allah.
    PS your topics title had me really excited - I thought you'd crossed to the dark side.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 19 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:47 PM Tusko has not replied

    NosyNed
    Member
    Posts: 9006
    From: Canada
    Joined: 04-04-2003


    (1)
    Message 8 of 183 (409806)
    07-11-2007 11:49 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    My experience
    Seven years ago I looked at death. I watched my wife die.
    Many commented by saying "She's still with you." and the like.
    It was so appealing to think that she was or that I would see her again someday I looked into myself to see if I could find anything there that would allow me to feel that way. It wasn't really about God per se just the idea that she wasn't really gone.
    I found that on this topic, like others with no good reason to think there is any truth in them, I had not a hint of belief. Even facing a death that felt like my own I had not the slightest belief even when I wanted to.
    I suspect that there will be less incentive to believe on facing my own death and don't expect that I will have an reason to even think of a god just as I don't in everyday life until someone forces it in my face.
    You don't understand the views of many atheists at all. Not in the slightest.
    Many times people have asked about your feelings regarding gods like Odin or Zeus. My feelings about your god are probably less than yours about those two others.
    What we do get riled up about is what the belief in these gods causes people to do. We do make the mistake, I think, of not always remembering the good that can come from it but we also see clearly the destructive effect it has on believers ability to think rational about very important subjects. It is scary to think of believers in fairy tales asking for help from an invisible, imaginary friend when they are making important decisions or relying on what a preacher or imam tells them to think.
    The kind of thinking demonstrated by a large percentage of the believers that frequent EvC is what makes an atheist react against religion which s/he would otherwise ignore as we ignore the summer soltices rites at Stonehenge.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 20 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:58 PM NosyNed has replied

    Taz
    Member (Idle past 3377 days)
    Posts: 5069
    From: Zerus
    Joined: 07-18-2006


    Message 9 of 183 (409822)
    07-11-2007 2:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    riverrat writes:
    Will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something?
    You know, the one that doesn't exist?
    This is a loaded question. No, scratch that, this question is full of it. Why, let me explain.
    People say and do irrational things in certain situations that they would never say or do. Now, consider the following questions.
    Under agonizing torture, would you then confess to the murder of little Ashley?
    Well, I don't know who Ashley is or how she was murdered. But under agonizing torture, sure I'll confess to just about anything. A little while ago, I rented a Korean made movie about ancient times. At one scene, a person was accused of taking bribes (we as the viewers know this person was innocent). The investigation was composed entirely of torturing this person until he confessed. They beat the crap out of him until he was all bloodied. He used two big poles and pressed down on his knees until his knees literally popped out. They used a flat stick to beat his mouth until his teeth fell out. This went on for 6 days until he confessed and then died of pain. Sounds familiar, riverrat?
    When it comes to it, people who are otherwise rational beings will become irrational and say or do just about anything.
    If it requires one to be on one's death bed breathing one's last breaths to believe in god, then this god is a god of irrationality, a god of desperation, a god that takes advantage of people's weakest moments, a god not worth worshipping. Might as well systematically torture people until they believe in god, or profess to believe in god.
    So, to directly answer your question, I don't know what I'm going to say or do when I'm on my death bed. But sure, if at that time believing in a god makes the whole experience a little better, why not?
    Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : No reason given.

    Disclaimer:
    Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.
    He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 21 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 7:03 PM Taz has replied

    Taz
    Member (Idle past 3377 days)
    Posts: 5069
    From: Zerus
    Joined: 07-18-2006


    Message 10 of 183 (409824)
    07-11-2007 2:21 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by jar
    07-11-2007 10:45 AM


    Re: Not at all sure of any reasoning here.
    jar writes:
    In addition, "we were all created to worship God" seems like a pretty small and worthless purpose that could only be the desire of a small and worthless god. If that actually is why people were created, why would anyone even care about such a picayune god?
    I did see this comment by riverrat before he changed his OP. It reminds me of Homer Simpson.
    This year's episode on Father's day comes to mind. The day before Father's day, Homer Simpson gathered up his kids and told them to go out and buy him presents because that day was "Father's Day Eve". Lisa then informed him that "dad, there's no such thing as Father's Day Eve." Homer became devastated by that little comment.
    This whole thing was suppose to be funny, but I couldn't help but relate that little Simpson scene to our riverrat. Like Homer Simpson, riverrat needs to feel important being a father. He needs his children to look up to him and honor him. This yearn for attention from the ones he created is, I think, child-like... you know, like that child-like faith that so many pastors try to sell. The fact that riverrat thinks our purpose is to worship god tells me that riverrat himself needs to feel important to his kids so much that he thinks his kids' sole purpose is to honor him as their father.
    But yes, I agree. This god of his is a very small god. A god that yearns for attention from his creation. A narcissistic god.

    Disclaimer:
    Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.
    He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 3 by jar, posted 07-11-2007 10:45 AM jar has not replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 12 by anastasia, posted 07-11-2007 5:39 PM Taz has not replied
     Message 22 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 7:09 PM Taz has replied

    ringo
    Member (Idle past 497 days)
    Posts: 20940
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005


    Message 11 of 183 (409830)
    07-11-2007 4:29 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    Ned made a good point, that somebody else's death is more likely to make us hope for an afterlife. There are plenty of people who have died before me that I would like to see again.
    However, according to Christian reckoning, most of them are probably in hell. So that's what I should be aiming for, I guess.

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    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has not replied

    anastasia
    Member (Idle past 6038 days)
    Posts: 1857
    From: Bucks County, PA
    Joined: 11-05-2006


    Message 12 of 183 (409840)
    07-11-2007 5:39 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by Taz
    07-11-2007 2:21 PM


    Re: Not at all sure of any reasoning here.
    Tazmanian Devil writes:
    But yes, I agree. This god of his is a very small god. A god that yearns for attention from his creation. A narcissistic god.
    I don't think that 'being created to worship' means that we feel God wants us to crawl on all fours singing hymans all day. It is not about our action, it is about God's action. We can glorify God by our very existence.
    I know you won't like that comment, but fair is fair.
    Does riverrat know that people sometimes stop believing on their death-beds?

    This message is a reply to:
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    Replies to this message:
     Message 23 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 7:11 PM anastasia has replied

    Modulous
    Member
    Posts: 7801
    From: Manchester, UK
    Joined: 05-01-2005


    Message 13 of 183 (409841)
    07-11-2007 5:44 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    An atheist will go around his whole life denouncing God or claim God does not exist, but I feel that when it all comes down to it, and you are on your death bed, and you are taking your last breath, I think that will change at that moment for you.
    Who knows what their, or anyone else's last thoughts will be?
    Will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something?
    No - I doubt it. If any god exists then either I'm about to meet him or I'm not. If I am, I'll save any requests until then - if I don't meet any deity I'll scope out any afterlife scenario, learn about it. And hey - if anyone knows how to talk to the chief deity I'll probably ask something. Depends on what his reputation is really. If he operates an open door policy I'll have to give it a go - but if he's a horrid sadistic bully I probably won't bother.
    You know, the one that doesn't exist?
    I won't be asking any god that doesn't exist anything...it would take up far too much time and I'll be dead before I'd gotten through the first tenth of the list of proposed gods, without getting to the philosophically possible ones.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has not replied

    Dr Jack
    Member
    Posts: 3514
    From: Immigrant in the land of Deutsch
    Joined: 07-14-2003


    Message 14 of 183 (409842)
    07-11-2007 6:08 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
    07-11-2007 10:33 AM


    The ol' "there are no atheist's in foxholes" line, huh?
    Ever watched Touching the Void? It's about a guy who spent three days crawling down a frozen mountain side after his friend had left him for dead. The guy who did the crawling was an atheist, in interviews afterwards he was asked about this and said it never even occured to him to appeal to God.
    We can't say for certain how we would react in certain circumstances until we are in them. But I can't see any reason why it would even occur to me to appeal to God.
    We're not in denial, RiverRat, we just don't believe.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 26 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 7:17 PM Dr Jack has not replied

    riVeRraT
    Member (Idle past 501 days)
    Posts: 5788
    From: NY USA
    Joined: 05-09-2004


    Message 15 of 183 (409843)
    07-11-2007 6:29 PM
    Reply to: Message 4 by PaulK
    07-11-2007 11:08 AM


    Well there's a problem to start off with. I DON'T know God. If there's a real God out there I don't know anything about him/her/it. So there's something badly wrong with your premise.
    no, there is nothing wrong with it. For many years, I did not know God. I was agnostic, for 95% of my life. So on occasion, I would look to the sky and ask God, why this, or why that.
    An atheist should never do that, supposedly, and I think the ultimate test would be on your death bed.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 4 by PaulK, posted 07-11-2007 11:08 AM PaulK has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 16 by PaulK, posted 07-11-2007 6:33 PM riVeRraT has replied

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