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Mr Walker

"In atheists we distrust"

109 posts in this topic

The reason so many Christians distrust atheists is because they can not understand them. For a Christian God's reality is a fact just as real as the ground beneath their feet. When they encounter someone who denies that concept they are filled with righteous rage. You see the people who wrote the bible were very, very paranoid people who attacked ANYTHING that posed a threat to their religion, and modern Christians have taken on that tendency. Furthermore, for many people, God is not just a deity, he is a symbol for everything right and good in the world, and represents all that they cherish about their upbringing. So when they encounter an atheist, despite the fact that many atheists are decent human beings, they can't help but associate them with evil, because they have placed all good within their God and they atheist has denied him. It is the sad price people pay when they subscribe to the more conservative branches of Christianity that can't imagine good without God, it just dosen't compute to them. Add into this mix a distrust of liberal society and modern science and you have a recipe for disaster. But that is not to say that Christianity is bad. It's not its a great religion, but because of it's tendency towards seeing itself as the only correct path it forces people into a sort of tunnel vision that can blind them to the beauty around them

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MW, what does it mean to you to love others? How do you define this? This question really doesn't require an answer, I simply ask to bring in a point. Loving others can mean many things depending on who you are talking to. One can get too caught up in this idea that there is one "right " way to love others, when there is not.There are many paths to love. What you can say is you have found a way that works for you based on your background and experiences, for you it seems to be religion.

This is the gratest practical difficulty with his commandment.

I have no problem with it because i was brought up form birth to love myslef and others. I was taught modelled and demonstrated what love is intellectually, emotionally, and symbolically,

No. Religion has nothing to do with love. Love comes before religion and may be a part of religious expression.

Primarily love is an expression of human spirituality. It is a symbolic construct made possible by our sapience, and capable of being chosen by a human being, once they are aware of its existence and construction. That awreness can come from many things, simply by being loved, or by being taught what love is and how to feel and demonstrate it.

My philosophy is this. First you must love yourself as a human being. That means respecting yoursef and accepting yourself as you are. Recogising your strengths and weaknesses and working on both of these all the time.

Then love others as yourself, but keep in mind they are NOT yourself.

For example I love being hugged and cuddled, my wife hates it. This is reversal of expected stereotyping, and it took me a long while to realise that physical affection, even words meant nothing to my wife as an expression of love. Nor did gifts of perfume or jewellery etc. For her love is demonstrted by time spent with her and by actions and deeds. And so, soon i will bereturning to our garden to continue tidying it up and pruning weeding etc as an act of love for her. This year i wil be working half time so i can spend more time with her as an act of love

And so love must be expressed in ways appropriate for the one doing the loving and the one receiving it. But LOVE is the important thing.

I am not going to put into words what love is, although i could do so for me. But it does involve respect, caring, and compassion, as well as consideration, for the one(s) loved. It might be easier to define what love is not. You do not hurt or harm one you love (except to do a greater good) you do not put them down or denigrate them. You do try to educate them to be ethical and moral and loved/loving human beings even if only by your personal behaviours.

You might protect them from harm, including self harm. You do not disrespect them, their person, body, ideas or beliefs, even where you disagree with them. You do not allow your love for them to compromise your own ethical standards and moralities, but you do not seek to impose your own on them, except where their own standards will hurt themselves or others, or is illegal.

Love does not just mean allowing a peson you love to act as they will, without at least trying to dissuade them, and perhaps even temporarily preventing the action, Eg an act of emotion driven violence on another, suicide or drink driving.

Edited by Mr Walker
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I agree with you, it is the rules and the willingness to adhere to and follow them that goes along way in fostering integrity and cooperation. We have many differing perspectives and religions this in and of itself contributes to the chaos. It is the rules we agree to/ have in place that give us common ground. The irony is that at some level we all are following the same rules and if we are not we have to contend with the consequences of those choices I often think going ones own way is the grand projection whether its religion or otherwise it is these rules not what religion a person is or is not. At the end of the day, for me, my trust is given based on ones ability to follow the rules.

Exactly the spirit of community, co-operation and good will mean much more than the particular religion a person may be, or whether they be an atheist. it is the acceptance that the rule of law, and the most basic of natural laws - cause and effect, that assures quality of life and freedom of expression for everyone regardless of race, creed or colour. Where this is absent - then contempt of the society and people is somewhere in the cause and that is the real issue.

Edited by libstaK

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I know of one atheist many Australians do in fact trust...

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX8PfYhDNJQ[/media]

And you have to admit, she sure has a good sense of humour.. I saw this video (talk about the end of the world ) rather recently and knew it was a joke, so good on her for showing her humorous side ..I laughed at the end of her speech, - "At least this means I wont have to do Q & A again " :P

Edited by Beckys_Mom
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I know of one atheist many Australians do in fact trust...

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX8PfYhDNJQ[/media]

And you have to admit, she sure has a good sense of humour.. I saw this video (talk about the end of the world ) rather recently and knew it was a joke, so good on her for showing her humorous side ..I laughed at the end of her speech, - "At least this means I wont have to do Q & A again " :P

Roflmao Not a good choice. I dont think it has anything with her being an athiest or even a woman, although both might count against her with some australians, but most of us do not trust her (or any politician) further than we could throw them. And poor old "joolia" has suffered the lowest approval rating of any australian prime minister in history (shared with the much hated Paul Keating.)

Lowest approval rating

Paul Keating (20-22 August 1993) and Julia Gillard (6-8 July 2012) tie the lowest approval record with 27% .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspoll

In 2011 it went nearly as low.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's popularity drops to a record low -- a net approval rating of minus 45 per cent -- in an opinion survey released Tuesday.

Gillard dropped four points to 34, the lowest rating of any prime minister since Labor's Paul Keating in the 1990s. This means almost 70 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with Gillard's performance.

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/208997/20110905/julia-gillard-prime-minister-poll-approval-rating.htm

And specifically on the matter of trust.

JUST a quarter of voters trust Prime Minister Julia Gillard according to a survey released today as a minister condemned what he called the Government's "political spin''.

http://www.news.com.au/national-old/voters-give-julia-gillard-the-cold-shoulder-as-minister-slams-government-spin/story-e6frfkw9-1226316741483

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my honest opinion is, i like many atheists (a muslim here), i like to raed and watch thier ideas, what i like about the intellectuals of them, is that they are the most honest people in thier way, they try to hit the true nature of things, but that some times makes them anti social people, like when they describe communities of people in a negative light saying it's only a chimpanzee nature to pan together so predators don't eat us, and make it seem like it's horrible thing to be with a pack of people, also a bird which is flying, to them is only a piece of meat and bones motivated by a selfish gene, so if you want to embrace thier creed on a deep level you will find that it's a life sucking base of looking to the world, but that doesn't matter as they say that we should seek truth no matter what, and the reson they fail to make me an atheist is that they basically say that there is no proof of god to be measured by our means, and that's exactly the creed of islam as we believe that god is completely separated from existence and can't be measured

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Roflmao Not a good choice. I dont think it has anything with her being an athiest or even a woman, although both might count against her with some australians, but most of us do not trust her (or any politician) further than we could throw them. And poor old "joolia" has suffered the lowest approval rating of any australian prime minister in history (shared with the much hated Paul Keating.)

Lowest approval rating

Paul Keating (20-22 August 1993) and Julia Gillard (6-8 July 2012) tie the lowest approval record with 27% .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspoll

In 2011 it went nearly as low.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's popularity drops to a record low -- a net approval rating of minus 45 per cent -- in an opinion survey released Tuesday.

Gillard dropped four points to 34, the lowest rating of any prime minister since Labor's Paul Keating in the 1990s. This means almost 70 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with Gillard's performance.

http://au.ibtimes.co...oval-rating.htm

And specifically on the matter of trust.

JUST a quarter of voters trust Prime Minister Julia Gillard according to a survey released today as a minister condemned what he called the Government's "political spin''.

http://www.news.com....9-1226316741483

Political spin is a problem across Australian Politics, don't want to derail the thread but I trust her more than Abbott, of course I wouldn't trust him further than I could throw him so that isn't saying too much.

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Roflmao Not a good choice.

You start sentences with - Roflmao ...seriously? .And you expect to be taken .seriously too? ....It seems by you starting sentences with that sort of silly long winded acronyms, it's some sort of joke.. . I would post lol at the end of something humorous ..but I will not start my sentences like that, it looks like I am mocking and trying to come off as condescending towards others, and it looks juvenile in my opinion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspoll

In 2011 it went nearly as low.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's popularity drops to a record low -- a net approval rating of minus 45 per cent -- in an opinion survey released Tuesday.

Gillard dropped four points to 34, the lowest rating of any prime minister since Labor's Paul Keating in the 1990s. This means almost 70 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with Gillard's performance.

http://au.ibtimes.co...oval-rating.htm

And specifically on the matter of trust.

JUST a quarter of voters trust Prime Minister Julia Gillard according to a survey released today as a minister condemned what he called the Government's "political spin''.

http://www.news.com....9-1226316741483

You post up old outdated news reports, opinion poll from the media, because the media always serves people well..right?

I clearly wrote.. -> many Australians do in fact trust.. Many stands for a number of people throughout the country, but not all, but I am sure many still do.. Like it or not, she is your prime minster

If ( and I mean just IF ) you are ready to start to dig into this, do not aim it at me....I am not interested in dragging this out and start some political debate, my previous post was not aimed to derail, it was mentioning one lady that I know many do trust regardless if she is atheist or not

Political spin is a problem across Australian Politics, don't want to derail the thread but I trust her more than Abbott, of course I wouldn't trust him further than I could throw him so that isn't saying too much.

And I am sure you are not the only one.. I personally cannot say anything about her, as I know so little... I try and stay out of politics as much as I can .. I have some interest but usually not for most of my time.. I think however she has a sense of humour..

Edited by Beckys_Mom
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I think both of these are descriptions of humans and common human behaviors, irregardless of religious or atheist beliefs. That's the problem for me when we talk about religion. All of them would be just about perfect if they remained an ideal, but once you put humans into the picture it becomes all kinds of messy. Because, I think, life is all kinds of messy. There is such a wide spectrum of IQ, experiences, nurturing of lack of, knowledge, education, economics, geography, cultures & mores, loss, pain, etc. Personally, I often forget that, and I need to do better around this, and practice more compassion & patience than I have been, looking at the person instead of any institution of which they may be a member.

I can't tell who is a Christian and who is not, in this thread. :-* Maybe we should identify ourselves so we don't mistakenly think we have agreements when we don't, and can identify who we need to bash for not thinking "correctly". I hope that is understood as a totally outrageous statement, with a message.

Science can greatly improve our parenting, and therefore, it can improve the world. Understanding our animal nature is important to our judgment. Understanding how we are different from other animals is also important, and it is not being scientific to stop short at equating humans and animals. It is to some degree because of science that we stopped beating the devil out of our children. The idea that the devil has power over our lives, has lead to many terrible things and unfortunately this goes with religion. To have peace, Christians need to be aware of why atheist reject religion, and they need to be accountable for that, instead of acting as though Christians have always been these wonderful, kind people that science and affluence has made them.

Christianity without education in the higher thinking order, (abstract and critical thinking) is very problematic, Failure to have education for the higher thinking order, makes people dogmatic, intolerant, and just plain dangerous! This is true if they religious or not.

I am curious. Christians keep referring to our human nature as being a problem, but recoil at the notion that we get our nature from the animal realm. What is going on here? As long as religion flies in the face of science, and insist the world is the center of the universe, it will loose those who think science has a better explanation of our experience. Thank God, because it is science that gave us control over diseases and made it possible for so many of us to live so long. Science is more effective against evil than superstition, and Christians are creating atheist when they reject science.

Why is human nature so bad, if it is not from the animal realm? The Catholic church would not allow Chardin to publish, because he reconciled science with faith. He said evolution was God's plan. It took this church a very long time to accept our planet is not the center of the universe and the spheres in space are not perfect orbs, however, it did. Why must we go through all this agony again, regarding human nature? Honestly, is it better to believe we are sometimes bad because of a supernatural being called Satan? Is that the correct way to understand why we are not perfect angels? How about understanding beating the devil out of our children, leads to them being abusive? Money and education is what made Christians such good people, because they were not such good "loving" people when they lived in ignorance, fear and poverty. Christianity stood in the way of economic growth, just as Islam has done. Puritans came to the new land to get away from that and to follow Calvinist teachings that spread prosperity by making capitalism possible.

Please, living in a wonder world of God's love and putting down those who put logic and science above religious notions, is a problem. If Christians or Muslims want us to believe as they do, they have to deal with the ignorance and poverty that consumed us, and the fact that the goodness of our lives came from logic and science, not a holy book. If religious folks will come half way, than may be we can get atheist to accept a truly unknown God. Then we can stop fighting and start working on morals, as a democracy with liberty is suppose to work.

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The reason so many Christians distrust atheists is because they can not understand them. For a Christian God's reality is a fact just as real as the ground beneath their feet. When they encounter someone who denies that concept they are filled with righteous rage.

Is that why they also distrust Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and billions of other people in the world who don't share their beliefs?

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Exactly the spirit of community, co-operation and good will mean much more than the particular religion a person may be, or whether they be an atheist. it is the acceptance that the rule of law, and the most basic of natural laws - cause and effect, that assures quality of life and freedom of expression for everyone regardless of race, creed or colour. Where this is absent - then contempt of the society and people is somewhere in the cause and that is the real issue.

Great point, (I'd add with the emphasis being for MW) I do not think love has much of a place in the land of the law, this is where I think religion places a stipulation (love) where none is actually needed. I do not need to love anything or anyone to follow the rules. I simply choose to be a part of accepting the rule of the law for the betterment of the myself and the whole to ensure quality of life and freedom for all. Personally, I do not see a need/place for religion, but I am not opposed to anyone who does.

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This is the gratest practical difficulty with his commandment.

I have no problem with it because i was brought up form birth to love myslef and others. I was taught modelled and demonstrated what love is intellectually, emotionally, and symbolically,

No. Religion has nothing to do with love. Love comes before religion and may be a part of religious expression.

Primarily love is an expression of human spirituality. It is a symbolic construct made possible by our sapience, and capable of being chosen by a human being, once they are aware of its existence and construction. That awreness can come from many things, simply by being loved, or by being taught what love is and how to feel and demonstrate it.

My philosophy is this. First you must love yourself as a human being. That means respecting yoursef and accepting yourself as you are. Recogising your strengths and weaknesses and working on both of these all the time.

Then love others as yourself, but keep in mind they are NOT yourself.

For example I love being hugged and cuddled, my wife hates it. This is reversal of expected stereotyping, and it took me a long while to realise that physical affection, even words meant nothing to my wife as an expression of love. Nor did gifts of perfume or jewellery etc. For her love is demonstrted by time spent with her and by actions and deeds. And so, soon i will bereturning to our garden to continue tidying it up and pruning weeding etc as an act of love for her. This year i wil be working half time so i can spend more time with her as an act of love

And so love must be expressed in ways appropriate for the one doing the loving and the one receiving it. But LOVE is the important thing.

I am not going to put into words what love is, although i could do so for me. But it does involve respect, caring, and compassion, as well as consideration, for the one(s) loved. It might be easier to define what love is not. You do not hurt or harm one you love (except to do a greater good) you do not put them down or denigrate them. You do try to educate them to be ethical and moral and loved/loving human beings even if only by your personal behaviours.

You might protect them from harm, including self harm. You do not disrespect them, their person, body, ideas or beliefs, even where you disagree with them. You do not allow your love for them to compromise your own ethical standards and moralities, but you do not seek to impose your own on them, except where their own standards will hurt themselves or others, or is illegal.

Love does not just mean allowing a peson you love to act as they will, without at least trying to dissuade them, and perhaps even temporarily preventing the action, Eg an act of emotion driven violence on another, suicide or drink driving.

MW, I see you are trying to make a case, a cause for 'love' yet it is immaterial in this context. What you are talking about is the act of setting boundaries (this has nothing to do with love) it has to do with establishing a personal identity and a way for others to respect you by knowing what these limits are. It is part and parcel of interpersonal relationship skills. Nothing more complex than that. If a partnership is going to be cooperative it would be important to understand the differences that each person brings, I do not dispute this, I also agree that love is defined many ways and the way a mate defines it would be imperative to grasp in the attempt to nurture a quality relationship. And, by your post it seems you have learned the 'art of listening' which is key to understanding and getting along with the female. :)

Edited by Sherapy

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You start sentences with - Roflmao ...seriously? .And you expect to be taken .seriously too? ....It seems by you starting sentences with that sort of silly long winded acronyms, it's some sort of joke.. . I would post lol at the end of something humorous ..but I will not start my sentences like that, it looks like I am mocking and trying to come off as condescending towards others, and it looks juvenile in my opinion

You post up old outdated news reports, opinion poll from the media, because the media always serves people well..right?

I clearly wrote.. -> many Australians do in fact trust.. Many stands for a number of people throughout the country, but not all, but I am sure many still do.. Like it or not, she is your prime minster

If ( and I mean just IF ) you are ready to start to dig into this, do not aim it at me....I am not interested in dragging this out and start some political debate, my previous post was not aimed to derail, it was mentioning one lady that I know many do trust regardless if she is atheist or not

And I am sure you are not the only one.. I personally cannot say anything about her, as I know so little... I try and stay out of politics as much as I can .. I have some interest but usually not for most of my time.. I think however she has a sense of humour..

Gone on a diet for new years BM? :passifier: Lost your sense of humour? :devil: I am an old fart who uses terms like lol sparingly, but i really did fall off my chair and onto the floor at the thought of people trusting julia gillard. It was a short way of making a strong and powerful point, which I see as the correct use for those silly acronyms. I am not responsible for how you perceive my language only the intent with which I use it.

I can't see mocking in it although it might appear juvenile, as such language is most universally used by teenagers, POS for example. Having played online with people from all around the world, including a majority of juveniles, for about five years i know most of the acronyms and do have to use them to communicate with other game players online. I am also exposed to their use in language every day with my students and yes, they do speak in acronyms.

The news reports validated my opinion. I wouldnt like to have people accuse me of using unverified opinions.

Yup, about 30% of australians express a trust in her. So some do, even many, in total numbers But it still wasn't a good example to use. And i didn't mean to have dig at you personally, I tend to forget how sometimes you let your sensitive nature overcome your sense of humour.

Also I have to live inder her rule and the effects of it so I am also a bit cranky and sensitive. As another poster indicated the other side is not much better and I am a conscientious objector to compulsory voting, so I dont really get a say anyway, but truly I laughed and laughed at the idea of using julia as an example of someone to be trusted.

The last time I literally fell off my chair laughing, and ended up rolling on the floor, was during one of the fawlty towers episodes many years ago. So think of it as you making a highlight in my otherwise dull existence.

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MW, I see you are trying to make a case, a cause for 'love' yet it is immaterial in this context. What you are talking about is the act of setting boundaries (this has nothing to do with love) it has to do with establishing a personal identity and a way for others to respect you by knowing what these limits are. It is part and parcel of interpersonal relationship skills. Nothing more complex than that. If a partnership is going to be cooperative it would be important to understand the differences that each person brings, I do not dispute this, I also agree that love is defined many ways and the way a mate defines it would be imperative to grasp in the attempt to nurture a quality relationship. And, by your post it seems you have learned the 'art of listening' which is key to understanding and getting along with the female. :)

Love is not a feeling but the way we act. My wife taught me that.

Love does create boundaries in expectations and behaviour, which do not exist without love. I see that all the time, in people who love self and others and those who do not. Love is the ultimate form of caring/respect for self and others. Love then, causes us to define boundaries in our own behaviour and that of those we love. Without love, compassion, caring and respect, no one would set boundaries for anyone, including themselves. ANd indeed in the modern world this is often the case, with tragic consequences. For example if you love yourself you won't ever intentionally harm yourself. If you love another you will not ever intentionally harm, or allow harm to befall that other, if you can prevent it.

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Gone on a diet for new years BM? Lost your sense of humour?

Oh not at all..I still laugh at things that are funny..I will joke as and when I feel it is right

I am an old fart

You said it, not me lol :P

who uses terms like lol sparingly

I use lol after funny sentences or jokes I have read, or to show people I am joking, but always at the end of my sentence... I never feel the need or see the sense in places long winded acronyms at the beginning of ANY sentence, in fact, I never will see the logic in using any amount of acronyms at the beginning of any sentence either..It just doesn't look right, and I cannot see the intelligence within it..

but i really did fall off my chair and onto the floor at the thought of people trusting julia gillard.

I personally find that behaviour awkward.It makes me feel awkward if I see people do this.... Maybe it's just me, but my dad was the same, he too would have given strange looks to anyone behaving like that.. If I am reading something serious or I post something I see as serious, laughing at what I say in that manner I find odd.. If I was sitting face to face with someone, and said the same thing about Julia Gillard, and they burst out on the floor laughing, I would think they lost it, it would make me feel awkward !

I can't see mocking in it although it might appear juvenile, as such language is most universally used by teenagers

I made a thread back in April of last year -Acronyms, Abbreviations and Text speak..!..http://www.unexplain...howtopic=226344 ...That thread explains what I have trouble with, and what I accept..Feel free to read it if you have time.... I am fine with lol at the end of jokes and sentences, but overly used and long winded at the start of senescence, ticks me off..Maybe I am being old fashioned ? Maybe I just cannot get to grips with it ? Or get used to it? I don't know, all I know is I don't like it..It could be because I have seen some people do this as a result of a disagreement, it comes off as an attempt to belittle their opponent in a condescending manner.. I have read a few posts from others, who were in disagreement, and did the same thing, posting up long acronyms to laugh at them at the beginning of their posts..I saw others who did in fact see it as an act of belittling and condescending, I agree with them

POS for example

POS? in my previous job, POS stood for - Point of Sale..I have no idea what you are meaning though?

I am also exposed to their use in language every day with my students and yes, they do speak in acronyms.

Would you accept an English paper written in acronyms filled with ROFLMAO and chopped text? In my day at school, we never did that.. Our work was always presented in proper English.. If it was full of nonsense like that, our teacher would have binned it and failed us..

In my own country Mr Walker, it has gotten worse... So many were used to using poor grammar.. An example of this is - That there book was blah blah.. I class that as bad grammar, but like I said, it has gotten worse with the young ones on Facebook.. Instead of posting their usual poor use of grammar, they make it worse by saying - Dat ( instead of that ) and der ( instead of there ) it turns out like - Dat der...!! Chopping up simple words like - Don't ..they now get lazy and type - dn't, dropping ONE small letter.. Again that is sheer laziness and I find it all hard to read If I receive a poorly written text that is filled with chopped up words and acronyms all over it, I will not read it.. I text in full proper sentences...To me, that is much easier to read and understand.. I think that if this continues ( and likely will do ) it will look as if the younger generation are dumbing themselves down

Another that confuses me is - IDK... When put into a sentence - "IDK he does this and that" .. To me they could be saying they do know OR they don't dnt know ? I then just skip it and go on to read something with proper use of the English language

Yup, about 30% of australians express a trust in her.

30% or even 35 % , it still stands for many people, and that was my statement.. Many people trust her... I pointed out previously, that many could stand for any number of people.. There is no fixed number linked to the term - Many people

And i didn't mean to have dig at you personally, I tend to forget how sometimes you let your sensitive nature overcome your sense of humour.

Fair enough, you didn't mean it as a way to put my post down, .but when I write something serious,and see I am laughed at, it doesn't go well with me..I feel the person is not worth taking seriously.. You do understand? You know I do take many things as funny and will laugh at so much of it.. but not the serious notes..

but truly I laughed and laughed at the idea of using julia as an example of someone to be trusted.

I once laughed at the idea of so many voting Bush back into office for a second term, but that's all I did, laugh at it, at the same time I was shocked....I never fell and rolled around on the floor in fits at it lol.. I guess I just react differently from yourself and so many others.. We are completely different people..

The last time I literally fell off my chair laughing, and ended up rolling on the floor, was during one of the fawlty towers episodes many years ago.

That's because a show like Fawlty Towers is very funny, and a shame they only made 12 episodes.. But at least you are laughing at something that is very funny.. I love the show, laughed at it many times Ok not rolling around but I still laughed..( Favourite episodes are the ones about the Hotel Inpectors and Bazil the rat ) .I have the box sets.. But if you were to do the same thing from watching a serious programme, that to me would be most odd

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Great point, (I'd add with the emphasis being for MW) I do not think love has much of a place in the land of the law, this is where I think religion places a stipulation (love) where none is actually needed. I do not need to love anything or anyone to follow the rules. I simply choose to be a part of accepting the rule of the law for the betterment of the myself and the whole to ensure quality of life and freedom for all. Personally, I do not see a need/place for religion, but I am not opposed to anyone who does.

When I was young an older woman said when I got older I would want religion in my life. I now understand well the truth of what she said, as well as holding the understanding of youth being too busy with other things, to care about spiritual matters, expect to wonder if ghost are real, and if a love potion can really work. So now as I ponder the spiritual truths, I know I wasn't always so moved to do so, as I think of such things now. However, religions are very damaging to my belief in God, because they focus on an unbelievable God, and insist if their idea of God is not accepted, then a person doesn't have God and morals. They do not recognize myth for what it is, and confuse myth as literally God's truth, and it is when we think we know God, that we know God not.

Joseph Campbell wrote of how similar myths around the world are. He said people everywhere get spontaneous spiritual awareness, and often this awareness is preserved in a myth. "Myth is to bring us into a consciousness that is spiritual".

And then we have Chardin, the Catholic priest who was forbidden to publish, because the church said his work is full of flaws. :whistle: Like the bible is a book validated by science? :td: Anyway, Chardin said we are , "the process of evolution reflecting on itself."

Chardin said, God is asleep in rocks and minerals, waking in plants and animals, to know self in man.

I want pull The-Unexpected-Soul into this matter of what humans are. I think our judgment regarding all human matters is greatly improved with science, so I really wish, as Christians gave up the notion that the earth is the center of the universe, religions would give up the idea that we are not product of evolution. However, I agree some atheist take this too far. What other animal reflects on the nature of self and God? Can any other animals be reverent and in awe? We not only think, but we think about what we think, and we can know there is far more to know than we will ever personally know. In fact, the more we know, the more we know of what we do not know. Humans take thinking to a whole new level, and when our lives are behind us, we have time to reflect on God. :wub:

I do want to say, those who speak of love are right on. God is not just an intellectual consideration, but very much about our attitude and feeling. Believing there is a God, and experiencing love, go hand in hand.

Edited by me-wonders
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The title for this thread comes from a short article by Ara Norenzayan, associate professor of psychology at the university of Vancover in British Columbia in the New Scientist 17 march 2012 I will write out the article here

One of the most persistent but hidden prejudices tied to religion is intolerance of atheists.Surveys consistently find that in societies with religious majorities, atheists have one of the lowest approval ratings of any social group, including other religions.(American Sociological review, vol. 71, p 211)

This intolerance has a long history., Back in 1689 Enlightenmant philosopher John Locke wrote in "A Letter Concerning Toleration."

"Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, Covenants and Oaths, which are the Bonds Of Humane Society, can have no hold upon an atheist"

Why do believers reject atheists, who are not a visible, powerful or even coherent social group? The answer seems to be the same force that helped religions expand while maintaing social cohesion: supernatural surveillance.

My colleagues Will Gervaise, Azim shariff and I have found that Locke's intuition-that atheists cannot be trusted to cooperate- is the root of the intolerance.(Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol.101,p.1189)

Outward displays of belief in a watchful God are viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness. Intolerance of atheists is driven by the intuition that people behave better if they feel that a God is watching them.

While atheists think of their disbelief as a private matter of conscience, believers treat their absence of belief in a supernatural surveillance as a threat to cooperation and honesty.

Any spelling errors etc. are my own.

I am interested in comments, opinions and observations, on this POV.

This is something that kind of relates something we've been studying, Kohlberg's Cognitive Moral Development Theory. I think theists tend to put their trust in the very first stage:

P1_CH12_img005.gif

And not just theists, but obedience to avoid punishment is probably the foundation of our behavior, as that is how we are raised up as small children, but I think where the distrust lies when a theist would compare a fellow theist to an atheist in levels of trustworthiness is that there are some areas where people can probably reliably consider that they can act without getting caught, as authorities can't be everywhere all the time, but a theist believes that God is always there, always watching and demands obedience and will dole out punishment, nothing escapes God's watchful eyes; therefore, a theist believing this will feel that his behavior is scrutinized always and believe he conducts himself accordingly regardless if any human could possibly ever know and if consequences aren't necessarily certain, but he will always believe God is judging and watching so he would probably believe himself to be less likely to do things immoral, wrong, selfish, harmful, etc. than an atheist who doesn't have the threatening feeling of the eye in the sky that sees all.

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When I was young an older woman said when I got older I would want religion in my life. I now understand well the truth of what she said, as well as holding the understanding of youth being too busy with other things, to care about spiritual matters, expect to wonder if ghost are real, and if a love potion can really work. So now as I ponder the spiritual truths, I know I wasn't always so moved to do so, as I think of such things now. However, religions are very damaging to my belief in God, because they focus on an unbelievable God, and insist if their idea of God is not accepted, then a person doesn't have God and morals. They do not recognize myth for what it is, and confuse myth as literally God's truth, and it is when we think we know God, that we know God not.

Joseph Campbell wrote of how similar myths around the world are. He said people everywhere get spontaneous spiritual awareness, and often this awareness is preserved in a myth. "Myth is to bring us into a consciousness that is spiritual".

And then we have Chardin, the Catholic priest who was forbidden to publish, because the church said his work is full of flaws. :whistle: Like the bible is a book validated by science? :td: Anyway, Chardin said we are , "the process of evolution reflecting on itself."

Chardin said, God is asleep in rocks and minerals, waking in plants and animals, to know self in man.

I want pull The-Unexpected-Soul into this matter of what humans are. I think our judgment regarding all human matters is greatly improved with science, so I really wish, as Christians gave up the notion that the earth is the center of the universe, religions would give up the idea that we are not product of evolution. However, I agree some atheist take this too far. What other animal reflects on the nature of self and God? Can any other animals be reverent and in awe? We not only think, but we think about what we think, and we can know there is far more to know than we will ever personally know. In fact, the more we know, the more we know of what we do not know. Humans take thinking to a whole new level, and when our lives are behind us, we have time to reflect on God. :wub:

I do want to say, those who speak of love are right on. God is not just an intellectual consideration, but very much about our attitude and feeling. Believing there is a God, and experiencing love, go hand in hand.

“There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call "atheists," and those who think they are facts are "religious." Which group really gets the message?”

Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

...................neither group gets it imo.

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I lll trust an atheist far sooner than a fundamentalist. That's for sure.

I have seen "scales" of spiritual development that put atheistic thought quite high on the development list, as aposed those that follow specific religions.

I think that thought development improves when the family core within a society improves. We can see low development in impoverished urban areas. There is also an increase in crime rate in those areas, far greater than in areas with higher development. Certainly, these people don't leave impregnated women alone, rob banks, and curse at a judge in court simply because their religion tells them to. So the use of religion isn't really the culprit in poor thought development, as you stated.

Where the problem exist is the assumption that morality is based on spiritual beliefs....it is in a way, but morality comes from a deeper place me thinks.

In regards to hostility toward atheism, it is often accused as an evil belief that leads to the breakdown of society. While many religions have broken down society, the source of social breakdown is more often than not to be because of political corruption.

This can even be learned by reading the Bible. Jesus challenged the political leaders of the Jewish Nation, calling them corrupt and self-serving. They had him killed, which is typical in societies where activists challenge political corruption, such as the case with Pope John Paul I. He was going to air out the dirty laundry between the Vatican Bankers, the Mafia, and the Free Masons. He was killed 33 days after becoming Pope.

As Jesus was led to the cross, women mourned for Him. His response was that they should mourn for themselves an their children. Forty years later, Jewish robbers and thugs hijacked the Jewish war with Rome and committed all sorts of wicked deeds against the inhabitants of Jerusalem. About 1.1 million Jews died at Jerusalem in 70 CE.

This proves my point: Political corruption is followed by social breakdown. Not necessarily religion.

I tend to fall into the cultural relativist camp on morality. Religons ten to influence culture, therefor anyone not believing in that religion is suspect, even though that person is just as affected by the moral base of the religion despite not being a follower of it.

I disagree. History proves that culture changes religion more than religion changes culture. How else did we get a Latin theology that differs so greatly from the original Hebrew theology? Culture changes religion. It magnifies the elements it agrees on and rejects those it doesn't. Why else do you think that Bishop Shelby Spong has gine through great lengths to spread Unorthodox Christian teachings that support homosexuality? Such a thing wasn't necessary 60 years ago. Why? Because culture didn't challenge it. That proves my point, I believe.

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I disagree. History proves that culture changes religion more than religion changes culture. How else did we get a Latin theology that differs so greatly from the original Hebrew theology? Culture changes religion. It magnifies the elements it agrees on and rejects those it doesn't. Why else do you think that Bishop Shelby Spong has gine through great lengths to spread Unorthodox Christian teachings that support homosexuality? Such a thing wasn't necessary 60 years ago. Why? Because culture didn't challenge it. That proves my point, I believe.

I agree with you there, and I don't know why people can't just say that changing cultures are why we see such a different attitudes in the God of OT and NT, but people need their absolutes and their religious beliefs to be of divine source and not influenced by man, even when they so obviously are. They change with mankind and their environment and that's probably a good indicator any personification or anthropomorphization of God has man's signature all over it, as in the bible, a product of a time and culture past.

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I think that thought development improves when the family core within a society improves. We can see low development in impoverished urban areas. There is also an increase in crime rate in those areas, far greater than in areas with higher development.

There's a "cause and causation" issue with that statement. Perhaps people who don't have the economic power of a two-income family household have fewer choices about where to live. It doesn't mean they're stupid. It means they can't live someplace with nice schools.

Also outside of "impoverished urban areas" you can find plenty of large uneducated families living in rural poverty everywhere in America.

This can even be learned by reading the Bible. Jesus challenged the political leaders of the Jewish Nation, calling them corrupt and self-serving.

What Jewish Nation? The Jews had a province under the Roman Empire at that time but it wasn't a nation. If the Jewish leaders were guilty of anything, it was bowing to the Romans to give their people some degree of freedom.

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There's a "cause and causation" issue with that statement. Perhaps people who don't have the economic power of a two-income family household have fewer choices about where to live. It doesn't mean they're stupid. It means they can't live someplace with nice schools.

Also outside of "impoverished urban areas" you can find plenty of large uneducated families living in rural poverty everywhere in America.

When people address the social aspect of education and religion, they are rarely referring to rural areas. Rarely to we hear of impoverished rural families. Uneducated, maybe. But the education they receive is sufficient for their society. People in urban areas have the problem of dense populations consuming more resources than they can provide.

So I think my point still stands. The issue we have is that political corruption causes poverty among those they betray and poverty often leads to widespread crime. Often religion is used to keep things that way. That does not mean that religion is the cause though. As a Christian, even I can recognize this dynamic.

What Jewish Nation? The Jews had a province under the Roman Empire at that time but it wasn't a nation. If the Jewish leaders were guilty of anything, it was bowing to the Romans to give their people some degree of freedom.

You might want to read Flavius Josephus' works The Antiquities of the Jews and The Wars of the Jews. Judea was a sovereign nation until about 37 BC, when its last king was usurped by an Idumean named Herod and was handed over to imprisonment. But what Josephus also discusses is the many corruptions among the Jews in the political realm. Lastly, the Jews overthrew their oppressors in 66 CE only to set over themselves merciless an bloodthirsty tyrants. Yes, political corruption did lead to the breakdown of their society. Since the temple was rebuilt, politicians among the Jews were entrenched in conspiracy as they murdered each other for seats of power. Their internal power struggle led to Judea's collapse.

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Interesting article.

I have found my interactions with Atheists to be much different however.

In the article the writer says

"While atheists think of their disbelief as a private matter of conscience, believers treat their absence of belief in a supernatural surveillance as a threat to cooperation and honesty."

I have noticed in todays society it is the Atheist that tends to be the intolerant one. (painting with wide brush here, i realize most just mind their own business)

Every year around Christmas time they flow out of the woodwork to proclaim that there is no god!

Stop the Myth! Stop the Lies! etc...

I for one believe in God. I do not attend church as it is my choice not to.

I can not prove Gods existence, and therefore i do not belittle anyone for their beliefs or non-beliefs.

I believe in the "live and let live" concept, i find it makes everyone happy.

In the end, Not one single person on this planet can point ot 100% absolute proof of how we got here. whether it be from a creation of a deity, evloving from a wet rock or simply abandonded here as criminals by aliens :alien:

Until that day comes, i wish everyone would just be tolerant of everyone elses beliefs and non-beliefs.

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Every year around Christmas time they flow out of the woodwork to proclaim that there is no god!

Around Christmas time you say? Interesting ... Well, it could be that they like to do a spot of moonlighting .How it works is - .At Christmas they are atheist and they chant - "THERE IS NO GOD ..YOU PESKY BELIEVERS" Then for the rest of the year they turn intro more agnostic, and chant - WELL, MAYBE THERE IS A GOD?.. WE JUST...... DON'T KNOW !! :P

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Great point, (I'd add with the emphasis being for MW) I do not think love has much of a place in the land of the law, this is where I think religion places a stipulation (love) where none is actually needed. I do not need to love anything or anyone to follow the rules. I simply choose to be a part of accepting the rule of the law for the betterment of the myself and the whole to ensure quality of life and freedom for all. Personally, I do not see a need/place for religion, but I am not opposed to anyone who does.

Why do you care about bettering yourself or "the whole"? Why worry about "quality of life"? Why choose "to be a part"? Caring, of which love is a part because without love there is no care or compassion, is the motivator.

People who dont care only obey the law for fear, particularly of consequence; or from a learned sense of duty/obligation/obedience to law. In both cases, if they cannot be observed they may chose not to obey the law or treat people with respect and care. However an inner motivation of love drives a person, regardless of whether anyone else ever knows how they will act.

Religion, in itself, has nothing to do with love, any more than with fear, but fear and religion, or love and religion, may go together due to how an individual person thinks. Non religious people fear and love just the same as religious ones.

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