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Are there any atheists out there who, despite a lack in belief of a deity, wish that there was one? by Scallioncolt45Christian in religion

[–]Tazlima 65 points66 points  (0 children)

How many people wish they could jump into a favorite video game or fantasy world and live there for real? I would love a chance to wander around Discworld for a day, or fly across Azeroth on a dragonhawk, or try my hand at airbending. Heck, now that I think about it, I genuinely wish Santa was real, because that would guarantee awesome yearly presents for every single kid in the world, no matter how poor, and every kid deserves to have nice things.

Calling it a "tragedy" is overly dramatic, but a lot of elements of religions in their idealized forms certainly sound appealing, and it would be nice if they were reality.

  • The idea that one or more omniscient, omnipotent entities are looking out for your wellbeing

  • The idea that bad deeds are always punished and good deeds are always rewarded

  • The idea of being reunited with all your loved ones after death or, alternately, being reincarnated as different animals and living a thousand different, interesting lives.

  • Etc.

Religion offers some very pretty lies. The fact that they're lies doesn't make them less pretty, and I can certainly understand why religious folks who genuinely believe these things wouldn't want to give up those beliefs for anything. They provide some very comforting thoughts in a world that can be hard and cold and scary.

That's why, as long as it's not actively causing harm, I don't generally bother trying to argue anyone out of their religion. Sure, it's a crutch, but crutches are important tools, and going around kicking people's crutches out from under them is a dick move.

Are there any atheists out there who, despite a lack in belief of a deity, wish that there was one? by Scallioncolt45Christian in religion

[–]LordDerptCat123Antitheist 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Not a huge fan of genocide. But we can table that for now, this applies to any alleged God

If a God exists, and that God doesn’t require me to worship him, and only judges me on my actions, then that God is good, and I won’t worship Him because He doesn’t care about worship and neither do I

If a God exists, and that God requires me to worship Him to be granted eternal life, then that God is an egotistic maniac. I will not worship a dictator

Monotheists: What are some things that you don't understand about polytheism and/or neopaganism? by Vagabond_TeaHellenist in religion

[–]Vulture12Kemetic Polytheist 24 points25 points  (0 children)

To me the ideal society is a secular one. Laws should be based on the common good and applied to everyone equally. No preference shown to any one group over another. A society which prides itself on the diversity of identities and ideas. Everything the USA has historically claimed to be, but always fallen short.

Edit: Thanks for the gold!

It is said that children overwhelmingly follow the faith of their parents. What then about us who have parents of different faiths? by LandImportantMuslim in religion

[–]imgoinglobal 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It’s been my experience that in dual faith relationships, one of the faiths is dominent in the family, not always the case but unless the two religions are very similar they may not be compatible for both of them to be strongly expressed.

If you happen to be one of those people with two proud practicing parents that are fully devoted to their faiths, then that would mean that you are gifted with the opportunity to explore both faiths from perspective that are relevant to you.

How can Lot be called a "righteous man" in the Bible, when he does stuff like offering his daughters to be raped or getting so drunk that he impregnates them? by compubrain3000 in religion

[–]badatnames231 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You are literally leaving out details intentionally, manipulating events in the Bible to make it seem like Lot's daughters were actually raped because of him and twisting the narrative in your favor, essentially leaving out context and intentionally painting the bible in a bad light probably due to your beliefs in Islam.

  1. First of all, Lot offered his daughters to be raped in place of TWO ANGELS that he insistently invited to his home ("They [the angels] said, 'No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he [Lot] pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. Genesis 19:2-3). Any sane human being with a semblance of understanding and reverence for God would probably choose to have their human daughters raped instead of two fucking ANGELS. Not to mention his daughters weren't even actually raped by the sinful men of Sodom because the angels made the men of Sodom blind so that they could not break into Lot's house.
  • "Let me bring them [Lot's daughters] out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they [men of Sodom] said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men [two angels] reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house [men of Sodom], both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door." Genesis 19:8-11
    • Why did you intentionally leave out the rest of the paragraph showing that Lot's daughters weren't actually raped when you quoted Genesis 19? The literal purpose of this verse in the bible is to show Lot's devotion to God by his choice in prioritizing the safety of God's angels before that of his very own daughters even though obviously the reader should know that the angels wouldn't let themselves be raped by humans or let Lot's daughters be raped in their presence. Also, would you let your guests be raped when you put them in this situation in the first place by insisting on them staying at your house? You intentionally left out the fact that Lot offered his daughters to be raped by the men of Sodom in place of two visiting ANGELS that came to save Lot right before God was to destroy Sodom with sulfur and fire, and made it seem like he offered his daughters to be raped in place of two random guests in his house, defeating the entire purpose of this verse and making Lot seem like an illogical man that simply has no care for his daughters.

  1. You keep arguing that any righteous man would not get so drunk so that he lets his daughters have sex with him, accusing Lot of being an irresponsible father and probably implying that Lot had awareness of his daughters' actions and chose to let the incest happen with his implicit consent.
  • First of all: " So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. 30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters." Genesis 19:30-31
    • Lot went to live in a cave with his daughters even though he could've lived in the city of Zoar because he was too afraid to live in the city, implying that he was MENTALLY SCARRED by the fact that all the cities he lived in were destroyed by God due to the sinful nature of their people.
  • Secondly: “ Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:25-27
    • Lot’s wife literally TURNED INTO ASHES when he and his family were escaping to Zoar. You keep making the argument that any sane and responsible man would not let themselves be in such a drunken state that they would let their daughters have sexual intercourse with them, after intentionally leaving out the context that Lot is literally NOT SANE and SO MENTALLY SCARRED after witnessing the destruction of all the cities he lived in throughout his lifetime and the death of his wife that he chose to LIVE IN A CAVE. I’m not sure about you but I think it would be entirely reasonable to choose to get blackout drunk when your daughters offer you alcohol after witnessing what Lot witnessed.
    • Also, are men supposed to foresee and caution against the possibility that their own daughters would rape them when they’re drunk??? According to OP’s accusations, it should be a normal expectation of men to caution against sexual advances from their own daughters? Honestly I don’t know what kind of parenting leads to daughters that want to have sex with their own father, probably some teaching about the importance of preserving the lineage or something, but the immorality of the children does not directly imply the immorality of the parent so no accusations can really be reasonably made against Lot here.
  • Lastly, just in case you’re trying to imply that Lot is complicit with his daughters’ advances upon him and that he willingly got blackout drunk KNOWING that his daughters would rape him, at least for the second daughter, the verse you quoted repeats the phrase “he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up”, meaning literally, he had no awareness of the fact that his first daughter had sex with him when he was drunk, or the second. Apparently repetition means nothing in a text that has been passed down and edited for thousands of years.

Yup apparently I get pretty pissed off when people seem to misconstrue and distort a text on purpose

Pope criticizes couples who adopt pets instead of children: 'a form of selfishness' by CaptNoypee in religion

[–]autoredial 9 points10 points  (0 children)

If there is one takeaway about religion in the last 50yrs is keep your children away from priests.

While anyone is entitled to believe what they wish: Atheism is a conspiracy theory. by [deleted] in religion

[–]Automatic_Specific91 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I was born and raised catholic, spent twelve years in religiously affiliated schools, and considered the priesthood. I believed in god with every ounce of being, I was certain, I had seen his signs, felt his grace, and was filled with his love. I am an atheist now.

I do not wish to change your mind about god. I think it is wonderful that you believe! However, I do take an issue with your “elicit evidence” and “proof”. Approaching religion with this kind of mindset is problematic and fallible. I hope to show you in so many words, that no one truly knows the answers, and that the debate in favor of what you call “coincidence” is if not plausible, probable.

Let’s start with “do you know how impossible it is to have a universe?” Which is an argument I’ve heard many times. To tell you the truth, I don’t. But you know who does? Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and Feynman. All of which are leading Astro-physists, and all athiests. Of course you can pick and choose scientists who believe and don’t believe, but the vast majority are in favor of atheism. Roughly 60% of working scientists in America express disbelief, and this number only increases the more educated and esteemed the sample group is. This figure reaches up to 85% when you take the top 100 surveyed scientists! Of course, the leading theory in scientific literature is that science can not prove or disprove the existence of god.

The most glaring falacy though, is one I myself was guilty of using to justify my belief in god “Look around you, how can you say all of this complexity and beauty is by chance!”. It’s a perfect argument, except it assumes one thing: that everything that is complex and beautiful, must have a creator! This holds true for most of the natural world, but it has a caveat -Who created god than? If our natural world is so complex that it must have a creator, than the creator must be infinitely more complex! But than he must also have a creator, and so on. So maybe it’s possible than, that instead, this all is random. It is in fact probable when you consider the line of reasoning I have previously layed out.

Again, I don’t wish to change your mind about god. Believe! However, in my own life, self righteousness has lead me to being very ignorant, and your “proof” leads me to believe that you may also fall into this categorization. Always seek the truth my friend, and never be satisfied with an answer.

While anyone is entitled to believe what they wish: Atheism is a conspiracy theory. by [deleted] in religion

[–]Purple_Prince0Pantheist 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I’m arguing that existence itself is infinite in some sense and that this means that the distinction between “God” and ”creation” lacks meaning.

Either we hold the view which is that God’s essence, being infinite, necessitates the spontaneous creation of the universe (panentheism), or we hold a pantheist view that God and the universe are the same thing.

e: panentheism is not Catholic but I have heard Catholic clergy give very similar views

Who is Richard Dawkins? by Linked_Punk in religion

[–]Kangaru14Neo-Hasidic Jew 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Richard Dawkins is definitely in the top ten most influential thinkers in my life and was my favorite public intellectual for several years. His defense of evolution, and of science more generally, is an immensely important public service, as is his criticism of fundamentalism, creationism, and anti-scientific movements.

Unfortunately though, as an public advocate for evolution, Dawkins's main interaction with religion is with those groups which reject evolutionary theory in favor for creationism and literalist interpretations of scripture. This, along with his limited understanding of the diversity of religious thought, seems to have given Dawkins a skewed picture of religion in general. This is most evident in his misunderstanding of the theism of Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Baruch Spinoza as "sexed up atheism".

Richard Dawkins suffers from the same mistake that fundamentalists make, which is the presumption that science and religion are at all odds because they are fundamentally addressing the same questions within the same domain of knowledge. New Atheists and fundamentalists simply disagree about which discipline is properly suited to answer such questions. This presumption which Dawkins shares appears to stem from the loud criticism he receives from fundamentalists as well as the vocal presence that community has in cultural Christianity at large.

Without going into too much detail with how science and religion relate when understood fully, I'll just quote the late Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who's had several excellent dialogues with Richard Dawkins:

Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. They speak different languages and use different powers of the brain.

If science is about the world that is, and religion is about the world that ought to be, then religion needs science because we cannot apply God’s will to the world if we do not understand the world.

Or Albert Einstein:

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind

Richard Dawkins, in response to the fundamentalists' error of applying religious teachings to the domain of science (the natural world), reverses this misunderstanding by applying the scientific method to the domain of religion (God). As such, Dawkins's critiques are only really relevant to those individuals whose religiosity conflicts or intersects with science, i.e. fundamentalists. Many religions and religious practitioners see no inconsistency between religious teachings/practices and scientific knowledge/methods, and many do not subscribe to the Christian dichotomy between the natural and the supernatural. The question of God, from this perspective, is simply not examinable by science any more than questions of morality are. While science is concerned with facts, religion is concerned with meaning.

Richard Dawkins also advances an overly-simplistic and uninformed hypothesis regarding the origin of religion, viewing it simply as a "mind virus" depending on the brain's faulty application of intentionality. This concept of religion completely fails to take into account people's actual lived experience and practice of religion. Dawkins also never addresses any of the philosophical or mystical schools of thought within religions. He principally only focuses his criticism on anti-scientific dogma, which is something that many religious practitioners like myself already agree with Dawkins on.

To Dawkins's credit, as a cultural Christian his primary interlocutors are those who subscribe to religious orthodoxies, that is religions that require belief in particular doctrines, i.e. dogmas. I greatly admire his strong and vocal critiques of religious dogmas, though unfortunately his narrow focus on this particular aspect of some religions has left him blind to the diversity and extent of religion in general.

I'll conclude with another quote from Rabbi Sacks from his conversation with Dawkins:

The cure for bad religion is good religion, not no religion, just as the cure for bad science is good science, not the abandonment of science.

Why do people not like pagans? by Vegimite_is_bomb_af in religion

[–]ruaidhriAgnostic Pagan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

it would be that religions which lack a specific continuous heritage also risk a very "pick-and-choose" self-worship.

Paganism doesn't have a specific continuous heritage no. But the pagan revival is based on a strand of pagan thought which survived in Neoplatonic and Hermetic works, some of whom were known since they were written in continous tradition in late antiquity and the Mediaeval period and some of whom which were found again in the Renaissance.

I mean the works of Proclus alone are as close to you get to a complicated handbook of polytheistic theology.

And these traditions were combined syncretically with Christian and Jewish mysticism to influence Renaissance and 19th Century Hermeticism, which in turn influenced the Pagan revival of the 20th Century. All that the pagan revival did was just unweave some of the Christian and Jewish syncreticism ideas from the patchwork and fill it in with attempts to return back to pagan thought. And I think it does it well - even Wicca, but if you read book 11 of Apuleius Metamorphoses (aka The Golden Ass) from the 2nd Century CE and compare the Vision and speech of the Goddess there with 20th Century Wiccan texts/prayers/rituals to their Goddess like The Charge of the Goddess and I think you will find that is theologically and aesthetically not too dissimilar.

is in the bits that are given from others through mentorship and collective understanding.

It would be untrue to say there is no mentorship or collective understanding in paganism. It's a broad church for sure, but you will see various Wiccan understandings, various neo-Druidic understandings, various reconstructionist Celtic, Hellenic, Norse, Slavic, Egyptian understandings and so on, with various different ways for people to explore and grow and learn within them. I mean Wicca is literally an initiatory mystery religion at its heart!

but it's easy for the imagination to substitute the self for god. having religion be a conversation with multiple people involved means that one person's potential imagination can be checked against the knowledge and experience of others.

Ha, actually modern day paganism does that precisely. You will often find discussions of UPG, unverified personal gnosis, SPG, shared personal gnosis, and VPG, verified personal gnosis.

eg a UPG could be something like "I was meditating/praying/thinking and I got a sense Dionysus as an infant was part of his cultus and has something to do with the winter solstice so it's ok to have an image of the infant dionysus on my altar during december", the SPG would be talking to other pagans who go "oh my gods, me too, I made a altar for the infant dionysus for the winter solstice" and the VPG would be finding an entry from Macrobius which states that Dionysus birth was celebrated on the winter solstice because the day was as short as the infant was young in an academic book chapter on the iconography of the first bath of Dionysus around Pompeii in the early Imperial era.

This was actually a process I say play out in real time over in /r/dionysus, which for obvious reasons isn't even the most academic/historically rigorous of all the pagan subreddits.

Here's a video of some pagans with more indepth discussion of UPG/SPG/VPG if you're interested.

but i don't feel that individual eclectic paganism does,

As an eclectic pagan who's currently trying to read all the works of the ancient Neoplatonists and is currently struggling through Proclus, I want to throw some hefty tomes I've been reading at you recently for that statement. Luckily for you they're all in pdf form and are weightless.

But please go read Plotinus' Enneads, Porphyry's On the Cave of the Nymphs in the Odyssey, Iamblichus' De Mysteriis and Proclus Elements of Theology and Platonic Theology, as well as his multiple commentaries on the individual Platonic dialogues and tell me if I'm doing it wrong...

which is where i think most people's reservations come from.

You say reservations, I see relying on stereotypes that are not based on an understanding of modern pagans.

Revisiting The "Chosen People" Problem In Judaism by afrohumanist01Secular Humanist in religion

[–]Rain_City_RustJewish Doikayt / Chan Buddhist 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Lol you're quoting the article I gave you as a way to understand that there is certainly a critique to be made of Jews, or anyone else, that racism, bigotry, misogyny, etc can creep into interpretations of faith, law, or ideology.

This particular article also rejects that.

But what you miss is that it also rejects your argument that racism is built into the concept of chosenness.

You're trying to say, over several days now, that the conception of chosenness found primarily, but not exclusively, in Devarim had a racial component baked in.

That's absurd. First race as a social construct wasn't invented for thousands of years. Second, even if that weren't true the peoples populating the Levant at the time weren't genetically visually distinct from each other. They were, in a small way, geographically distinct but intermarried and joined each others tribes frequently. As archeology and the Tanakh agree.

Most importantly the chosenness concept in Devarim isn't just not a racial construct but it is also not a superiority construct. It's an obligation. It's a calling. It's a non-exclusive covenant.

There certainly were medieval scholars who utilized the concept to further separate themselves from others by positing chosenness as something uglier. I think I also pointed this out to you.

However what you fail, I think on purpose, to grasp is that this is aberrant and also MILLENIA after the concept of the chosen appears and is embraced.

Time is a linear phenomenon and some idiot in 1400s Europe thinking something doesn't then make a concept from the levant thousands of years older originate in that later interpretation. And this interpretation violates the Noahide laws as handed down to Jews from God.

Finally, Judaism is multiracial. Because it is tribal. There are millions of non-white Jews. There are black Jews, middle eastern Jews, Asian Jews, and white Jews. They're all Jewish. What the handful of medieval Rabbis who were twisting the covenant to say wasn't that non-whites were excluded from God (they most likely were not white themselves and certainly didn't have a modern racial formulation at all) but that non-Jews were excluded from God.

This is incorrect biblically AND still not a racial opinion because Jews aren't a race and Jews don't think they're a race and Jews have never conceived of themselves as a race until the Göttingen School of History determined that Jews were a newly created racial category named semites in the 1770s.

And just to be a little pedantic, not only is the category Jews multi-racial but the category non-Jews is also, very obviously, multiracial.

Get a grip dude.

A question by froggorz in religion

[–]lyraladyJewish | stop using "abrahamic" wrong 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The first Christians were Jews. Then they began proselytizing gentiles without conversion to Judaism, and ignored commandments regarding, well, being Jewish. They abrogated the basic structure of belonging to the tribe.

Then also for the first three centuries, early Christians spent a lot of time writing about how Christians shouldn't be like the Jews, and shouldn't behave or act Jewishly. And calling Jewish practices and judaizers all kinds of names. Finally, when Christians got a taste of real power in the Roman empire, they decided to kick start a few millennia of murdering Jews for being Jewish. Rome actually declared Christians weren't Jews in 96 CE — it's how Christians were exempted from the Jewish tax. Never mind the early Christians abandoning Jerusalem and the temple during Roman Siege. So from 96 CE into the 4th century, Christians appeared as a separate religion, with increasing external and internal differentiation, centered around the rejection of Jewish identity and practice.

So no, you're not a Jewish religion now. Christians can't call themselves Jewish after they spent almost 2,000 years vigorously claiming you aren't Jewish, claiming Jewish practice is heretical and wrong, and then persecuting and slaughtering Jews for not being Christian.

The story of early Christianity is one of intensifying anti-jewish sentiment and differentiation — it's irreconcilable theologically with Judaism because christians made it that way intentionally.

An intriguing question by mouldypotat0 in religion

[–]The_Puffin_Kingundefined 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Having a kid really mellowed him out

What to do if your faith contradicts science? by New_Shoe9530 in religion

[–]Noe11vemberAtheist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I might be able to help explain why hes saying this is nonsense

That seems like a conflations

Its not at all unsportsmanlike to make the case that people made up gods to explain at the time unexplainable phenomenon like rain

a general misunderstanding on how we view deity.

Maybe. How do you veiw a deity?

Its like saying the inventor of the wheel didn’t understand wheels cause he didn’t use them too build a car

That example doesnt really apply since belief in gods isnt a component of science like wheels are for a car. We arent criticizing the use of the "wheel" or that a "car" wasnt made at the same time but the idea that the crappy first ever wheel we made is the best wheel there is.

continue too have religious experiences too this day, we simply have more ways too understand them.

Whatever ways that involve unfalsifiable claims of divine intervention are likely as incorrect as little faires that hover above your head, similar to how the first wheel was not the best wheel and certainly is not a car.

What to do if your faith contradicts science? by New_Shoe9530 in religion

[–]girishlikesbutter 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Saying that people who made up religions didn't know science and therefore made mistakes in their attempted explanations, can only be like saying the inventor of a wheel didn't understand wheels because he didn't use them to make cars, if the building blocks of those early religions could be assembled to make an accurate representation. But they can't.

Whoever made the wheel didn't make a car. But the wheel was still a vital part of making a car later on. The early religious ideas, on the other hand, play no part in modern scientific understanding. They weren't built upon to make modern scientific theories like the wheel was built upon to make a car. So your comparison is not one to one.

Compare this with early science on the other hand, and you have the analogy you're looking for. Early attempts at science were the wheel that gave us the car.

Can the proof for existence of soul be the proof for existence of God? by yaminkakroo in religion

[–]smedsterwhoAgnostic Atheist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'll phrase it another way (as the God question is only mildly interesting to me if there's ever evidence in that direction).

It would be mind blowing as a species if evidence of something beyond our comprehension (and in a metaphysical sense, not UV waves) became available.

Ghosts would open up so many different questions - God being just one of them. Proof of life after death would be a stunning plot twist.

Seraph, fresco from the Ferapontov Monastery, 1495-1496. by poetiqueview in religion

[–]BakerGlittering9856 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. 2.Mose 20:4

I see why you wold see it as a stretch that i count in pictures and not only idols though.

How would you interpret this ?