I can't remember when I became atheist, I think it was the time we had bible study for our confirmation. It was the first time I really read the Bible. Still a member of the church though and pay church taxes.
>>604467 Currently, I'm atheistic in the sense that I don't have any inclination of believing in anything I would consider as a deity. The classical idea of a deity, if I'm not mistaken, is that it's has attributes one would describe as "personal." The idea of a personal supreme being, to me, is too far-fetched to even be entertained.
Mind you, I became irreligious when I was shown New Atheist videos as a teenager, which pointed out "flaws" in Christianity; I'm not sure if they hold up to scrutiny these days, so that a theologian could readily pick them apart. Christianity may very well be legitimate in its claims, but it doesn't seem likely to me. Since I became non-Christian, and no other religion was explicitly jumping out at me, I didn't feel the need to follow any religion at all.
I articulated this once before, elsewhere. I was thinking about it yesterday, while driving, and I gave it a name. It is probable that the below has already been classified and studied (an Occam's razor comparison very obviously comes to mind). I thought to call it the "Comparison of Absurdities."
God pops of of nowhere, or had no cause, or always was, or was born to some other Gods, or whatever the theologian likes. Later, God creates the universe, or some similar statement. Then what made God(s)? The question does not vanish, even if it is delicately dismissed. The idea of a God is therefore absurd, at least when compared to our daily routine of cause and effect. 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88s do not habitually pop into existence, and so on.
On the other hand, the current popular materialist conception of the Big Bang runs something like this: The universe just sprang forth, unbidden, from nothing, from nobody, for no reason, with no purpose. A physicist will be obliged to push back on the absence of cause suggested here, but there isn't anyone reading this paragraph who doesn't understand exactly what I mean: the universe came into being, and we don't know for a fact how or why it came into being. There are /theories/ of cause, but they're only that. So for the moment, absent better information, you might as well just say for discussion that the thing just popped into existence. Like God in the above case.
So we are forced to compare two absurd situations, where something just popped into existence. And since for all the conventional scientific reasons, we first conclude that we aren't sure of a God as of the universe's existence, we appropriately conclude that, given the available information, the latter narrative is yet less absurd than the former, requiring fewer 'leaps' (one versus two); indeed, the object of the big bang theories hinted at above is to reduce the number of leaps to zero, which is as it should be.
I was an atheist and nihilist for several years before becoming religious. I suppose out of my own weakness, I became extremely depressed by living from that perspective. I don't remember why I thought of giving religion a chance because I used to be a huge anti-theist, but I did. Living a spiritual life where I search for God, reduce my attachments, my vices, and increase my virtues felt like a better way of living than assuming there's no purpose to life and living a mundane hedonistic life.
A) I wasn't raised in a religious family (neither of my parents belong to church) B) Call me materialistic, but I fail to see the benefit of convincing myself to believe in something unbelievable. There isn't a free lunch.
Also, on a visceral/personal level, I was almost 18 when the September 11 attacks took place, and therefore they had a different meaning for me than for most of this site's current userbase, who are younger and for whom the event was only ever a meme. I was at an age where I could actually think about events, a bit. I even correctly floated bin Laden's name as a possibility in the early hours, /before/ the news started running with it - I had remembered the Cole bombing and heard this character described, a too-tall, lanky person.
I had already been in my teenage phase for a few years, but once I understood that the attacks were done by muslim terrorists in the purported service of (among other things, such as notions of state) their religion, to be followed immediately by a Christian (Falwell) playing a blame game, that was it for me, that was the unforgettable object-lesson at an important period of development. Here was all the vindication of my worldview that I could ever want: religion is shit, and no charities or examinations of Russia or China were ever going to meaningfully persuade me otherwise-not beyond the academic, at any rate. Since that time, I have had near daily confirmations of my bias.
For the next few years, being oh-so-very intellectually honest, I though of myself as an agnostic. At some point in my early-mid-20s, I realized that this was no longer necessary, and opted for the simpler designation (for myself, at least) of atheist. Being an adult not in a crisis of any kind, this attitude toward things hasn't changed since.
I'm both an atheist and some sort of poorly defined spiritualist. I was going to kill a bunch of people, and I had a series of dreams that formed a coherent and seemingly meaningful story. Then, just before I actually killed anyone, a voice in my head called me a foul wyrm for betraying an oath against murder, and suddenly there was another personality inside my head that belonged to a dragon. So I have some sort of daimon now I guess. But according to my dreams, dragons go into oblivion when they die and cease to exist, and a daimon is just yourself, so revealed knowledge tells me there's no afterlife for me. Also I still don't know if gods exist. I guess that voice might have been a goddess but whatever.
I mean, I know I'm just insane but knowing it somehow doesn't change the verisimilitude.
Sorry for being rude, but me becoming religious wasn't a spontaneous and reckless decision. A person doesn't go from hating religion and mocking the concept of God to loving God overnight. A lot of contemplation went into it and I undoubtedly know that atheism/nihilism was the source. I'm not here claiming that I'm living the right life or the logical life or even saying that atheists are idiots. Being an atheist is a legitimate and understandable view, but I just couldn't live with it, it was a completely hollow existence for me.
>>604649 Perhaps it is. There needs to be some kind of love as a foundation to live a meaningful life, and finding that love in Buddhism was too difficult or impossible for me.
The psychological state and the philosophical view each reinforces the other, the more because the philosophical view is actually true. And if you really, actually have it set in your mind that nothing matters in the long view, (or have it set in your brain, a chemical disposition toward depression), than the one will find the other, and this will manifest in your daily life in the expected ways.
"The skepticism which fails to contribute to the ruin of our health is merely an intellectual exercise." -Emil Cioran
I find religion to be more interesting. It's like a fun little role play that lots of people take part in. I find comfort in the traditions and recitations, I enjoy the history, and the sense of community (in a rural Roman Catholic church) can't be beat. I believe that Jesus was probably real (I'm aware of some of the arguments on both sides of that) and was probably a decent guy. Beyond that I don't really know, and I find it silly to try and know, for certain, because we won't until we're dead. Naturally, those of you who side with logic and science against religion are probably absolutely right, and even if you're not, there's a good chance I'm "backing the wrong horse", so to speak, but it's a lot of fun, and honestly even somewhat comforting at times, to just go for it and believe in something and be a part of something. I knows it's sort of a simple answer, but I guess the fact that I try to be self aware about it helps.
>>604699 >The psychological state and the philosophical view each reinforces the other, the more because the philosophical view is actually true.
But this is not true if you actually suffer from chronic depression, because chronic depression is an actual physical disease of chemical imbalance in your head.
If you are constantly thinking that the world is meaningless, and that you do not see any meaning to your existence, and feel hollow and hopeless on a day to day basis, you are most likely actually depressed.
Mere suspicion. I suspect there's no god and we just rot and that's it. Can't really say I believe it, as such, it's really more suspicion than belief.
>What convinced you either way?
I was about nine or so and heard that there was such a thing as not believing in God. Straight away I'm like, Holy shit, we don't KNOW? It was like finding out there were people who didn't believe in the moon or something. And pretty quickly from that to like, Oh, OK, I get it, so that's bullshit then. I kicked around a bit from position to position in that way you do when you're first chewing something over, settled where I am at around age fourteen.
Miscellaneous commentary: It's hard to jibe with theism, or at least Christianity, but I try to spread and promote the idea that people don't consciously choose their beliefs. That takes 95% of the ire out of disputation on the subject, which is a fucking relief. So everyone should do that, I reckon: Let go of the idea that the CRETINOUS BUFFOON of a theist/atheist is CLINGING PERVERSELY to the obvious lie that they chose because they fear death/righteous judgement etc.
>>604467 I grew up in a secular household. Any contact I had with religion while growing up was from an agnostic standpoint since no one really espoused a religious viewpoint around me even if my family regularly met and were friends with religious people so I never developed any strong feelings about religion.
Nothing ever really convinced me so I remained agnostic simply because you couldn't disprove a vague god so there was a small chance that there might be one. I can't remember when I switched to atheism or if I even cared enough to be agnostic outside of arguing about religion. I know now that I'm sticking to atheism until convinced otherwise by something I'd consider evidence because of burden of proof.
For me it is quite simple, there is no evidence that god exists and I have no reason to believe any given religious mythology any more than all of the other mythologies that all religious people happily don't believe in other than the mythology of their own religion.
Secondly I think the problem of evil kyboshes any claim that if a higher power exists it is not indifferent or immoral so there is no reason to worship it.
>>604467 I've been an atheist for as long as I can remember. Even before I knew what it was. As a kid I went to a catholic elementary school but the bible stories never meant anything more to me than the other fairy tales.
I enjoy solipsism.. The idea that there is nothing but ourselves and what we do. We are all gods.. I see dreams as being the end game.. The limitless possibility.. There is no other proof but what we have set before us.. And dreams/sleep.. wow. Astral projection should be a religion.
I was never explicitly told that I believed in a particular religion when I was young, I was always interested in biology and nature and these were explained without a religious origin. I remember understanding that I didn't believe in God/gods around the age of 9-10.
>>607712 When I was 12 I used to watch amazing atheist videos and all that sorta shit, and held the whole "religion causes war" rhetoric in my young little head. I grew up and matured, and learnt more, I still didn't believe in God or anything, but I realised that believing there was no God was a leap of faith. My position now is closer to a pure agnosticism really, mainly due to reading a lot more and studying more -- what-is is quite complex and there's a lot I do not know. Some form of creator, or rule-setter of what-is, would answer a lot of questions, but there's no way of me finding out if that is the case.
>>604467 Lets say the bible (or anything else) is a 100% logically sound explanation as to how we've come to where we are (it's not).
If I've got a chess board with a king in the middle, and I offer you an explanation to how he walked there that fully obeys the rules of how a king would move in chess, does that prove he took that path? Obviously not, as there are plenty of other paths which could have been taken which also follow the king's rules. Infact, if we don't even know how many steps the king took, there are infinite explanations which all follow the rules of logic in spite of the fact that only one could be correct. Those odds are one out of infinity, a mathematical infinitesimal: pretty much zero.
Logic and philosophy alone won't wiggle you into the truth, you need a demonstrable example, like an actual king on a chess board where you can act out scenario after scenario and actually build data. Lots of people say science and belief in empirical observation stem from philosophy, but that's wrong. The assumption of cause and effect, something which needs to be assumed in order to engage in logical thought at all, comes from observing events and drawing correlations. You can't logically prove cause and effect since you need to assume cause and effect to use logic itself; in logic's own words, trying to do so would be begging the question. The only other way to believe in that assumption is to observe them and say "hey, it seems like each event I see is related to a prior event. Everything appears to logically follow." More simply, empiricism does not come from logic; it is logic which comes from empiricism.
The tl;dr of that is "evidence cannot come from pure theory-crafting" plus "everything stems empirical, scientific observation".
No one in my family is religious so it wasn't something that I grew up with. By the time I was old enough to actually listen to/read and understand stories from the bible it just didn't register as anything different from other fictional stories.
Despite being raised Christian I was never convinced of the existence of God.
I consider myself a passive denier of God as I have seen no proof of his existence, but won't assert my position as infallible. I also don't mind if other people do believe in God, or any derivative of him.
Various reasons, but generally disillusionment with religion and religious people.
I am of the opinion that a lot of "religious" people aren't insomuch following their proper beliefs but are simply going along with what they were raised to believe. I'm also not fond of how religious people I've met fall back on "Faith" to fill in logical and moral inconsistences between themselves and their religion.
My mother is an atheist and my father is non-religious, I guess, never really talked about these things with him. I have never believed in God or that sort of superstitions, nor have I felt the need to. In my thirty years of living I have been in church exactly four times.
>>604467 i don't really remember how it started, other than religion never being a big part of my life despite being raised in a theoretically Christian family. But I know sometime in high school I read a collection of Douglas Adams essay, some of which introduced me to the idea of atheism as a formal school of thought. I would also find 4chan a year or so later, which at the time had a much larger and more outspoken atheist community.
I am a deist in that I believe there is something going on that is beyond human understanding -- call it god, or nature, or Tao, or whatever fucking word you like best. Whatever it is I believe that it is literally beyond our ability to ever comprehend much the same as calculus is beyond the most intelligent lab rat's ability to understand.
Imagine, if you will, the most intelligent lab rat ever produced by science. Imagine this rat with all of his overpowered cognitive faculties and reasoning abilities. Now just think of this rat trying to understand calculus. He can't fucking do it! Because he is still too dumb.
>>609440 Rats cannot understand abstract concepts. We have the capability of at least PUTTING DOWN any concept that's possible of being conceived. This sort of thinking is pushed by religious people trying to rationalize their claims and isn't justified by anything.
>>609475 Human intelligence and consciousness is the result of evolution. A rat's intelligence is also the result of evolution. Since we know that a rat's intelligence is inferior to our own but that the same natural processes created both then it is safe to assume that our own intelligence is also limited.
>>609498 >Since we know that a rat's intelligence is inferior to our own but that the same natural processes created both then it is safe to assume that our own intelligence is also limited.
I don't see your leap of logic here. It would be like saying if a car manufacturer makes a cheaper car that can travel a certain distance, and the makes a more expensive car, that it also can reach the same distance. How would you know that? Perhaps the more expensive car is faster, more efficient, and can reach much longer distances.
>>609578 >>609498 The fact that it's the result of evolution is not proof enough that there's concepts that we can't understand. Mathematics already deals in some of the most abstract concepts literally possible.
Math gets complicated. Just because we understand some of it doesn't mean we understand it all. Also there is literally no math anywhere in reality. It only exists in human minds in order to model reality.
>>609650 Solved or unsolved has nothing to do with it. Some problems may be in fact unsolvable having nothing to do with our intelligence.
>Math gets complicated. Just because we understand some of it doesn't mean we understand it all. Also there is literally no math anywhere in reality. It only exists in human minds in order to model reality. I didn't say we understand it, I said the statement that we're just rats is unfounded. We understand more and more of it every day.
>>609671 >reducible to mathematics, and behaves in a way describable (or already described) by it
Which is the modeling of reality. There are no maths out there floating in space. You cannot find numbers anywhere unless a human put them there. Math is for modeling. No one is suggesting that it isn't useful, only that it is not reality.
>>609683 >We cannot assume that we have already evolved the penultimate intelligence that is possible.
This would seem to imply that it is a ladder of some kind, and that evolution will someday reach that penultimate intelligence, by climbing more step. I may have interpreted that incorrectly though, but there is a lot of misformation out there, what evolution really is and isn't.
>>609694 >Which is the modeling of reality. There are no maths out there floating in space. You cannot find numbers anywhere unless a human put them there. Concepts don't float anywhere, they are brain states. Again, what a completely asinine and vapid statement.
>Math is for modeling. No one is suggesting that it isn't useful, only that it is not reality. It could in fact be reality. You have provided nothing to substantiate your assertion.
>>609694 >There are no maths out there floating in space >only that it is not reality
Only thing is that you do not know that. These discussions go back to ancient Greece(see:Platonism vs Formalism). 50% of mathematicians believe in one 50% believe in another school of though. In the beginning of 20th century some believed that mathematics is just applied logic, but that turned out to be wrong, thnx to Gödel et al. The thing is nobody knows what the fuck mathematics is.
>>609745 >The thing is nobody knows what the fuck mathematics is.
This made me giggle. I just don't believe that something is out there solving equations in order to make the clockwork of reality tick. Unless we are in a simulation. And I don't believe that yet because we have peered deep into the inner and outer workings of reality and we haven't found the pixels yet. Every time we slam particles together we get more fucking particles. When we finally find the "pixel" particle I will change my mind.
>>609753 >I just don't believe that something is out there solving equations in order to make the clockwork of reality tick.
That might just as well be the case. Some physicists do believe that we are in a simulation, I'm sure they have their reasons. I won't be so bold as to say that I understand those reasons - it involves quite a lot of math. But, hey, there exists a possibility.
Why would God/Universe need a cause? You can see something is very wrong with Aquinas' proofs from a Christian perspective anyway, since even if they proved God they wouldn't prove a Christian God. God wouldn't give us only this as evidence for his existence.
I was agnostic until I had a direct experience with God which made me believe in a higher power. Later I had some incredible experience that got me to believe in the Christian God. I don't really care about converting anyone and I'm unsure of the bible. All I do is seek truth.
I consider myself to be a learner more so than any other. Have always been learning as long as I can remember. Programming myself to be a buddhist, then deprogrammed myself. Then atheist and deprogrammed again.
>>609881 >it's no closer It's more than likely further from it. When you're making claims you couldn't possibly substantiate there's no wonder you find something as archaic and asinine as Christianity appealing.
>>609922 Its not really amusing once you try to understand where the base of atheism lies. The existence and the non-existence of god. Atheism operates under those paradigm. "I'm an atheist I don't think god exist." There is also the popular atheism where its anything that doesn't adhere to naturalized explanation or something similar along those lines. That also operates under the paradigm of "natural and unnatural". It gets vague but you can absolutely de-program yourself from many dual notions. Right/wrong, left/right, up/down, etc. Obviously its not helpful to deprogram yourself of those useful things, but its very much possible if you want to be purist about de-programming.
>>609992 You are emotionally unstable. You were probably neglected as a child or you suffered lots of rejection growing up. You have few to no friends and your social life is limited primarily to immediate family and internet.
>>610024 Actually what he's saying is perfectly legitimate and something I've experienced for myself and has nothing to do with logic vs. Irrationality. You're the one who has no idea what the fuck you're talking about and trying to stunt like you are. Go back to fucking /b/
>>610024 >Hence, fuck off, moran. You clam up whenever you are around people you feel attracted to. You emotional response to situations is either none at all or very extreme. You feel like you are smarter than everyone else. You are pathologically narcissistic but as soon as you are accused you feel extremely angry because you do not believe it. The total number of meaningful relationships you have had is very low.
>>610041 I'm done talking to redditors who can't tie their shoes. if you've never heard "all dualities are two sides of the same coin" before you need to drop the anime friend and read a book. No ones talking about dropping rationality wholesale you hysterical goober
>>610054 You are a defender of the weak. You feel compelled to take action. Certain fictional characters greatly appeal to you because they remind you of yourself. You admire strong people who do not victimize others.
>>610057 > if you've never heard "all dualities are two sides of the same coin" before you need to drop the anime friend and read a book. Do you think this cretinous statement has any application to reality, let alone logic?
>>610070 Heat isn't molecular motion and cold isn't the lack of it? Can't have heat without cold. Light is photons. Darkness is absence of photons. Can't have darkness without light. These are expressions of polarities of light and temperature.
>>610099 No it isn't you fucking dumb shit. Deprogramming yourself from right and wrong means acting with perfect consent and clarity as to the motives of your actions thereby releasing you from the attachments to results: whether praise or blame, moral sanction or censure, feeling good about it or feeling guilty if it didn't go how you planned. It's doing something purely, well, and without pretension, the action for the actions sake itself and not any ghostly moral ramifications it might have
>>610125 >Deprogramming yourself from right and wrong means acting with perfect consent and clarity as to the motives of your actions thereby releasing you from the attachments to results: whether praise or blame, moral sanction or censure, feeling good about it or feeling guilty if it didn't go how you planned. It's doing something purely, well, and without pretension, the action for the actions sake itself and not any ghostly moral ramifications it might have Those are some complex sentences.
>No it isn't you fucking dumb shit. This is a simple sentence.
I was raised Baptist, became a hardline fedora-tipping atheist in high school and it seemed I'd be going that way forever. Around a year ago I realized how fucking scummy my New Atheist heroes were, and I guess I became pretty disillusioned with active atheism. I was in a phase of what I guess I'd call apatheism for a while. Before I had been raging against God, any God, I was angry and wanted everyone together. I went from that, to religion playing almost no role in my life or thought process.
A few months ago I was taking a Greek Civ course, and reading the Iliad, the part where Diomedes is fucking shit up with Athena at his back, it just kind of occurred to me that it was silly of me to just discount so many millennia of human spirituality. There had to be some kind of common thread they had caught onto.
A few weeks later I was on a walk and I got this weird feeling, and I just knew there was a God. A God, a single all-powerful force of some kind.
Spent the next month or so looking into various religions, found Shia Islam and Zoroastrianism extremely interesting, but ultimately was drawn back into Christianity, and from there Orthodox Christianity. Been pursuing that over the last month and a half, reading books and going to Vespers and Liturgy as often as possible. I've found it very rewarding. My first service was Vespers at this tiny mission in my hometown over winter break (collegefag). I was anxious going in, but turned out to be the most spiritually uplifting and immersive experience of my life. I'm still somewhat open to new ideas from other religions, but this seems to be the right path for me.
I know I don't really have any rational or logical reason to believe, and that's okay with me. I just do. This upsets a lot of my atheist and agnostic friends, but I don't think it'll be too much of a problem.
I was raised apathetic to religion, and never really had a reason to turn to religion. Although, in his old age, my father is turning to new-agey occult bullshit. I'm still mostly apathetic to religion. There are so many more important things in life than wondering what happens after it.
>>610429 Have you considered some more serious Athiest works to round out your understanding? Its just that I get the feeling you are reaching a certain view point only because you did more quality research into one area over the other.
Relying on Dawkins and espeically hitchens to understand athiesim seems to be the equivalent of relying on Rand to understand individualism.
>>610533 Nah, I actually had looked into philosophical atheism. I went for a while liking philosophical atheists because they had arguments more interesting than "muh evidence". I was really into Camus and Nietzsche until recently. Still have respect for atheists who come to the conclusion through serious thinking, rather than the empiricism meme.
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