Author Topic: Never had faith  (Read 52265 times)

Beetzart

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Never had faith
« on: August 04, 2012, 07:31:06 PM »
I went to a C of E primary school and there was a lot of religious instruction, even in the 1980s.  Thankfully my mum, who went to a private convent school, told me from a young age how silly religion was.  But always maintained that if I wanted to be a churchgoer when older then that would be fine with her.  I remember sitting in class with this really old, dusty, tall, spinster teacher, who reminded me of someone from a Roald Dahl book, reeling stories off from the bible.  Even telling us about how all male children had been ordered to be killed, by Herod I think.  Blimey, what a horrible story to tell 8 year olds!  I mean it has no relevance in this day and age.  Wasn't it about saving Moses, who led the slaves out of Egypt, who went onto drown an entire army when the Red Sea miraculously parted and then unparted on them?  And then there was genocide, a bit more genocide, infanticide, pestilence, ignorance, etc.  

And Jesus wasn't much better by all accounts!  Well I doubt he existed, anyhow.

Now this is the controversial part of my post.  I do tend to feel that people who rely on blind faith are kidding themselves. I know there are varying degrees to how literally people take the bible/koran etc, yet ultimately they imagine some 'thing' created everything without needing an explanation, and live their lives like that.  I do find it a bit soppy though, sorry.  I could 'preach' about science, even to the point of arrogance, but it works.  As Chemist and hardline atheist Peter Atkins claims 'there is noting wrong with arrogance if you are right'.  I remember the vicar who did the service for my son's funeral; what a puffed up, emotionless, old baffoon he was.  At the time my wife and I were not married so I expect that disgusted him deep down.  He came to our house to discuss the service before hand and after a chat asked us to join him in prayer.  What pray to a god that killed our son you mean?  But I never said anything as the grief was unimaginable, but looking back I still feel very bitter.  In a way that is how religions get people, when they are most vulnerable.  Now I know there are good, kind hearted religious people who help others without expecting them to join in their beliefs.  Which just makes me feel guilty.  

Anyway, rant over.

Beet

NB  I don't mind conversing with people who have faith in this atheist board, but I won't encroach on other boards in this section unless asked.  I don't want to upset people as I know how important it some, but I don't mind the odd debate.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:33:00 PM by Beetzart »

CharleysAngel'

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 07:49:36 PM »
I definitely get where your coming from Beetzart, eventhough I have attended catholic primary and secondary school and I am doing christian theology as one of my a level ::)
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough I don't know why;'
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Zaf

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 07:52:51 PM »
I do beleve in Christ but only as a prophet/teacher
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.

KateG

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 08:07:37 PM »
I was brought up as a non-conformist, but I firmly believe that being a Christian (feel free to insert any other religion you choose) does not automatically make you a nice person. I know some lovely atheists and some downright mean religious types!

I think it is possible to reconcile faith and science, but that the early parts of the Bible are more akin to folk tales than being literal. Creationism is definitely a step too far for me. And it doesn't explain dinosaurs.....

So, I do believe in something, I do pray for help and guidance, I do believe things happen for a reason, even though I have questioned the reason for my depression.

Recently my best friend had to undergo emergency surgery while she was on holiday and she nearly died. I said many many prayers for her, as did all the members of my mum's church. My friend has been told that if she had got to the hospital 2 hours later she would have been dead, if she had been taken ill 2 days later, she would have been on a plane coming home from Australia, and would have been dead before the plane landed. If she had been taken ill 5 days earlier, then her surgeon (one of the top surgeons in Australia in this particular thing) would have still been on sabbatical and it is unlikely that anyone else would have been able to save her. And even this surgeon cannot believe she made it through alive.

So, this may all be coincidence, but I don't think so. I believe it was not her time to go and that the prayers helped.

But I agree, when awful things happen, like with your son, you have every right to question why and that the vicar you met was particularly unfeeling. My OH's dad (now deceased) was a vicar and so is my OH's brother. I cannot imagine either of them treating you like that and I am sorry you had to experience what you did, when going through something something so unbearable anyway.

Beetzart

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 09:58:43 PM »

Ezel

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 10:04:37 PM »

NB  I don't mind conversing with people who have faith in this atheist board, but I won't encroach on other boards in this section unless asked.  I don't want to upset people as I know how important it some, but I don't mind the odd debate.

This is partly why I decided to add the boards  =+- and thank you for being respectful.  Although I am a Christian there are parts of the bible I struggle with.  The New Testament contradicts the Old Testament and of course it was written roughly 2000 years ago.  The world has changed a great deal since those days.  I have had my disagreements with other Christians about the bible.  A classic example is in the book of Timothy (can't remember of the top of my head which chapter) that says that the man (husband) is the head of the household.  I completely disagree with that as partners generally share responsibility for bills, running the home, share parenting if they have children and so on.

Beetzart

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 10:40:43 PM »
Thanks for adding these boards, Pip. $%$

Your classic example is why I think my argument about how the bible/religion is an unnecessary burden for people in this age, entirely valid.  Ultimately religion will continue to be marginalised, while science, and the lay interest it, will continue to grow. 

I had Jehovah Witnesses knock at our house the other morning, my wife answered and snapped, 'No, thank you!', at them before shutting the door in their face.  I looked out the window and saw that is was a young family with two daughters , only about my son's age (9).  Sadness soon gave way to anger.  When you consider that those supposedly loving parents would deny their children life saving blood transfusion if the need arose makes my so damn angry.  All because some some religion proclaims it is wrong.  Read their Watchtower website and see how it tries to justify such stupid sanctions.   


Ezel

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 11:48:09 PM »
Jehovah Witnesses get that from Acts 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.  I tend to point out to them that according to the bible Jesus gave his blood freely for us so that can be used as an argument as why we should give blood and allow blood transfusions.

When I was a student nurse I worked on a men's surgical ward and one of the patients was a Jehovah Witness.  We used to chat when I wasn't busy and we talked about his beliefs.  Although, at that time, I wasn't going to church due to my negative feelings of the Christian faith I was well enough versed in the bible to have sensible conversations with him.  Up until this point he was adamant that he wasn't going to agree to a blood transfusion if needed during his operation.  He changed his mind after our chats yet I hadn't tried to convert him we had simply discussed bible passages.  It didn't change my mind about the Christian faith at that time either as I was still angry about things in my past.  Afterwards he said much of what I said made sense about how the bible was twisted to suit different churches.  He didn't need a blood transfusion after all but he left his church and started going to a Pentecostal church.

Zaf

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 10:24:41 AM »
Yes, thanks Pip  _)_

While doing the horsey chores this morning I started thinking of some of the comments here (I do some of my best thinking while poo picking!)


To me god or whatever you call it (tao, shabd, allah, etc etc) to me is creation as opposed to an entity, being, deity etc that created the universe.  My beliefs are that there is no omnipotent being that gives us rules, creates disasters, rewards us when we're good or punishes when we're bad and I believe that there is an energy in all things and that this energy can survive the death of the body.

It makes me sad that people with differing beliefs fight and kill for them, my philosophy being do what you will and harm nothing
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.

Beetzart

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 02:34:32 PM »
This sort of thing beggers belief:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2183923/Yadnya-Kasada-festival-Indonesians-clamber-volcano-catch-chickens-vegetables-fruit-money.html

Throwing good food into a volcano, only to have people risking their lives to catch it for 'good luck'. Would would hypothetical ETs think of this type of behaviour?  Just crazy, but no different from people fasting or only eating certain foods because a book tells them too.  Yet these books aren't medically based, these OCD like traits are to appease god/s, etc.  Or what about hose parents just jailed for killing their daughter for bringing shame on their family?  In the UK as well.  And what did she do wrong?  Disagreed with an arranged marriage (I think). 

Beetzart

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 02:43:47 PM »
Yes, thanks Pip  _)_

While doing the horsey chores this morning I started thinking of some of the comments here (I do some of my best thinking while poo picking!)


To me god or whatever you call it (tao, shabd, allah, etc etc) to me is creation as opposed to an entity, being, deity etc that created the universe.  My beliefs are that there is no omnipotent being that gives us rules, creates disasters, rewards us when we're good or punishes when we're bad and I believe that there is an energy in all things and that this energy can survive the death of the body.

It makes me sad that people with differing beliefs fight and kill for them, my philosophy being do what you will and harm nothing


Sorry, Zaf but is it ok if I take your post literally, with regards to energy?  Yes you are right there is energy is all matter, Einstein proved this with e=mc2.  Yet actual energy is really hard to define.  It transits in forms like chemical, heat, electrical, etc  and this is how it is measured but it is an abstract concept, that only exists theoretically to satisfy mathematics.   A dead body will still contain energy yet no means through which it can do work, through an active metabolism.  So energy indeed survives the death of a body, but I don't think that is what you meant.

Are you talking about a spirit or soul? 

Zaf

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 03:23:29 PM »
No I didnt mean the kind of energy you speak of, nor do I really think of it as a spirit or soul, I suppose a consciousness would be the nearest word I can think of to describe it but even then thats too close to spirit or soul I think.

How I think of everything having an energy is that everything has its own particular vibration or resonance (something along those lines) and living things have this consciousness (for want of a better word) as well

I'm not sure if that makes sense, I find it very difficult to find the exact words to convey my meaning here
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.

Got

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 07:04:24 PM »
People may think I may be pugnacious from reading this, but bearing in mind I have lived successfully among very religious people in some very religious cultures - I'm quite accepting of others and they have accepted me. I respect other people and I do not argue, if asked I respectfully state my ideas about the major monotheistic religions, around which this debate seems to have focused.

Within every population, be it seeds, flowers, loaves of bread, animals, people etc, there is a range of distributions. Look at your workplace or your local town for example, there is a wide variety of psychologies. There is nothing debatable about that, it is mathematics. The same is true for religion, within religion there will be range of personalities, psychologies. There are  people who claim to be (for example) Christian, who have never really considered it all, they don't really practice, they don't question it, they don't pay much attention to it either...but if they considered it they would realise that they are not religious. Then on the other end of the spectrum you have the zealots, those who are fanatical. And then you have all of those who fall in between.

The dangerous thing about the worlds monotheistic religions is that as long as they exist there will be groups of people who are extreme, those who believe violence is justifiable to support their ideology. Of course this is true for many ideologies, most notably politics ones, and extreme people will always exist. But what separates religion from politics and other ideologies is that it gives you 'the God given right' to perform outrages acts, and there are countless examples of this. I am not saying religion permits atrocious acts (that is another argument all together - as some of texts support morals that are quite frankly disgusting), I am just saying that in the minds of some people god permits them to do hideous things in order to support their beliefs, and they believe that they will be rewarded at the end of it. That is very dangerous and very scary.

Despite the fact that religion does offer support to many, as long as people read and believe religious texts that were written thousands of years ago as an attempt to understand the word and as a way of controlling society, we will struggle with unnecessary violent conflicts, and we will have those individuals who seek to integrate religion into politics which will result in oppression. Just look Christian right in the U.S.A and how George Bush continuously referred to god being on his side, and to the side of all those who voted for him, as he funded millions of dollars to bomb the Middle East so that they can take control of its oil fields.

Beetzart, I wish I could agree with you that region will decrease and science will grow, but religion has all the signs of a viral meme (unit of cultural inheritance), it is inherited through families, and is also inherited by those susceptible, it alters the thinking of the individuals who have it and it alters their behavior. People may think this sounds odd and even pigheaded, but it isn't as odd as it may sound. It is established and it may never decrease. There is no evidence for the truth of these kinds of monotheistic teachings, but there is an overwhelming quantity of evidence supporting the fact that they are primitive texts constructed by medieval, institutionalised scholars who sought to explain the world and who sought to provide a framework to create moral order within society (conform you will go to heaven, fail to conform and you face eternal hell). Yet, people in modern 21st century society still believe them.  


« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 07:09:04 PM by Stevie »

mrmoody

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 05:40:06 PM »
I once read Cosmos by Carl Sagan who I greatly admire (when people talk about which guests they would hypothetically like at a dinner party, I would just have solely had him along!) Anyways, I digress, he wrote that he believed the church had held back the sciences by 600 years because of their dogmatic hold on society and the persecution of anyone scientific who challenged their ideology.

Zaf

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Re: Never had faith
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 07:46:37 PM »
I would think he is right there
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.