Dear Atheists, questions from a "believer" [continued]

As I remember from extensive readings in, let me frame this, Abrahamic religious texts- the cofified “harm” in not believing exists there, and not in an atheist manifesto- It implies nothing exactly other than a personal choice, however, if you admit that there is a functional reason behing “believing” I dare say your belief is no longer what its supposed intention is, it becomes means to an end- is it not against what belief at its heart should be? We , atheists (even thought I shy away from such a collectivity, as it doesn’t exist) are bombarded on a daily basis , from almost everywhere, with reasons why we should believe, it is implied in our very cultural institutions, governmental even, the most secular of governments- there is a subtle structural violence even, I would say. So , no harm intended bro-

I don’t have to have a “meta-narrative” to make me feel comfortable, secure, and alive- the very curiosity that feeds the questions you asked satisfy me, and I do settle for a “I may not know” but followed by “I will”-

what kind of rhetorical emotional bullying is that? Are you saying that an atheist accepting that after life there is no other, and the gruesome truth of mortality, makes him/her incapable of cherishing the glimmer in a child’s life? On the contrary- id say a true existential believer in “now” would go beyond – remember, the tragedy of a lost loved one for a true atheist is much more “real” and hurtful than that of a believer, there is no afterlife, see you later, “soothing balm”

Reducing this debate to this reverse- logic is nonsense- there is a pro-abortion anti-abortion debate even within a scientific/ rational community, and it doesn’t just oscillate between an atheist versus religious spectrum- so not worth answering even.


I surround myself with love ones I can see, those who can put a real arm on my shoulder, wipe away my tangible tears before they reach the end of my face- I take a walk in the heaven of today, enjoying beautiful landscapes, I cry, ………i sometimes go swimming??? And eat dark chocolate….

unlike you, I refuse to put “believers” under such an obscuring mass-collectivity, homogenizing and not realistic- some believers are so desperately miserable that they do commit suicide you know, need I bring up famous historical examples?

because I admit the unexplainable, and in reaction to the attempt of religious people to “rationalize” god, in Islam, Christianity- and other religions, the “atheist” community is just saying, don’t even go there….

yes I do actually, a lot, I also look at the advances in science and wonder how Humans have gotten there, we used to operate without anesthesia, imagine… ouch…

again, I refuse that generalization, I’m a hardcore atheist, currently at least- and I am the most optimistic person I know. I love life, I do a lot, to me, and to others, I give, should I go on with the list?

The OP hasn’t posted here since 2005 so I doubt he’ll get a chance to read your response.

Hey, I remember this one! That damn collection plate never did make it back to me.

Never mind. See below.

The posts above were split off from this thread, which was started in late 2003.

Sara.ajlyakin, I saw you posted in an old thread, then perhaps a mod moved it to here. Here’s what I posted in that thread, some of which is still pertinent:

Sara.ajlyakin, welcome to The Dope. You probably didn’t notice the date on the last post before yours, but when something is that old, we call it a “Zombie” thread. Just a few gentle hints from an old Doper…[ul][]Start a new thread on this topic yourself, []Limit your questions to just a few at a time or else you may get a “tl:dr” (Too Long; Didn’t Read) response,And, very important…some of your questions are answered at…I suggest you check that site out very carefully and educate yourself before…well, you wouldn’t want to look ignorant and foolish in front of a a lot of smart people, would you? :slight_smile: [/ul]

Thank you very much, Musicat. That’s a helpful introduction and it saves me the trouble. :wink:

It doesn’t matter how badly you or I or anyone wants something to be true, wishing doesn’t make it so. I went through a period of wishing I believed in God, but then I realized how foolish it was to wish, not that something was true, but merely that I believed it, as if believing something can be good regardless of it’s truth or falsity.

Science can’t explain everything, but it’s the only explanation we have. When science can’t explain something, I think, maybe science will explain it some day or maybe it will always be beyond our knowledge, but I don’t think I can’t explain it so I guess God must have done it anymore than I think I guess the Easter Bunny must have done it.

I know that sometimes it’s possible to have an experience that makes it seem like there must be a God. I’ve had experiences that make me feel very strongly that there must be something out there that loves us and takes care of us and that speaks to us through our feelings. But I’ve also had times when I felt very strongly that we’re alone and that everything is hopeless and that life isn’t worth living. I’ve come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t believe anything just because it feels true, but that I should examine the evidence and the reasons for believing things regardless of my feelings. In doing so, I’ve decided there is no reason to believe in God and there is no reason to think life is hopeless. Both thoughts were fleeting emotional reactions that had nothing to do with reality and that passed with time.

No worries I have it. And,…I accept Paypal. :smiley:

I’m a little confused. Is the OP wanting to ask these questions again and see how answers might change? There were a lot of answers in the old thread.

What’s the point of posting them again , without any explanation of what you hope to accomplish?

Thanks for fixin’ the link, I was a little confused too until I finally was able to click on that thread instead of it directing me back to this one.

But to the OP, many of these points you bring up are so common, you can look them up with common searches with a google or here: Pascal’s Wager, God of the Gaps, Appeal to Emotion, etc.

After doing a scan of 10 pages of this stuff with the original thread that seemed to cover everything from A-Z, and left not a single one of these questions not answered, not sure what else the OP expects to be added a second time around.

Anyway, Sara.ajlyakin, welcome to SD.

Sara.ajlyakin, I edited your post to make it clear which parts are IWLN’s questions and which parts are your responses. I spent some time replying to your post before I realize I was answering IWLN’s old questions instead of what you had written.

Since everyone else is pointing in the direction of google, I’ll bother to give a short answer to the questions for what it’s worth.

  1. The harm comes from the reality that a fantasy, lie, or belief, no matter how comforting, is still nothing more than a fabrication. It tells us nothing about reality. It does not encourage us to think, to explore, to search and find real answers to our questions. At it’s worst it encourages tribalism, bigotry, and genocide.

  2. This is a complex question. VERY generically, at least for me the answer is: We don’t know…yet. We have lots of good ideas, and many of them are well supported with other evidence. In time we may well understand all the aspects of the origin of life. We don’t need a god to fill the gaps.

  3. You are speaking about transitional fossils, and it is simply false that there aren’t any. There are loads of them. Creationists often explain evolutionary processes incorrectly. An animal changes in it’s entirety as the species evolves, not gaining random bits and bobs off other species.

  4. The acceptance of death is part of growing up. It is sad that as of yet all of lives will end, but since we have no proof of anything coming after, I see no reason to place a special worth in children’s lives, or those of unviable fetuses. All human life has equal worth. What we do with it, and how we contribute is another matter entirely.

  5. See above.

  6. I suppose so occasionally. A magical being that could grant my wishes should I propitiate it correctly would be very handy. On the other hand, if we take the christian god as an example, he is often violent, genocidal, petty, vain, and cruel. Since I could do jack about it if he chose to mess with me, I’m rather glad he doesn’t exist.

  7. Tell myself “this too shall pass”, seek comfort from family and friends and move forward. I lost the need for a security blanket when I was a child.

  8. Not really. If anything they seem more anxious about their choice. Their logical mind and their fear of death is in constant clash despite their rationalizing.

  9. I’ve no idea why people do this. Perhaps they are trying to communicate a sense of wonderment, peace, and comforting superiority of position. They fail.

  10. God must be shown to exist because unlike the portions of the physical universe we do not understand, we have no evidence of god. If we could see his footprints so to speak, we would have another matter to discuss.

  11. This is called the argument from irreducible complexity. Those who use it, often do not understand the simple nature of the universe. it simply exists. There is NO reason for it, us, you, aliens, other worlds, or Charlie Sheen. Understand this and this wonderment ceases to exist, replaced instead with a keen interest in HOW and why all these things work together.

  12. I’m certainly not. I try my best to make each as enjoyable, pleasant, and productive as possible. Since I only get one spin around this rock, I want it to be the best it can be!

Reading my reply in the original thread, I see my attitudes haven’t changed in the last seven years, though I think I’d be more articulate about expressing them now.

I’m always puzzled when theists ask question 2 all smug-like. “Ha !” they say, “you don’t know what came before the Big Bang !”. Of course, ask them what came before God and they deflate rather quickly. Unless they tell you it’s turtles all the way down, of course.

  1. You don’t think there’s any harm in believing incorrect things?
  2. How do you explain the origin of God?
  3. Every fossil is a transitional form. If someone told you otherwise, they’ve been lying to you.
  4. I’m acutely aware of my (and my children’s) mortality. Which is all the more reason not to spend our limited time on this earth living a lie. A life wasted on religion is very sad.
  5. I don’t consider a tiny lump of developing cells “a child”.
  6. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a guardian angel looking out for me. But a God that orders me around and will throw me in Hell for doing the wrong thing? No thanks.
  7. I turn to friends and family.
  8. I find true believers to be less introspective. They’re more secure, but also more smug and judgmental.
  9. Believers have their own “secret language” because often they’re just parroting arguments they’ve heard from others.
  10. God is claimed to be incomprehensible only when it’s convenient. If God is completely beyond rational understanding, how can we ever know what he wants?
  11. I find it hard to believe how anyone could look at a tree and not believe in evolution.
  12. I find it very sad to contemplate the lives of believers. You wait your entire life for a trip to Disneyland, and when you get there, it’s nothing but an empty lot.

Well, that changes it completely because I didn’t see his replies in the original or maybe I overlooked the parts where he did. I only found IWLN’s questions or thought it was all his. So thanks for the further clarification by editing the posts.

Wait, WTF? I guess you did it before you realized this yourself, but what’s the point of spinning off a new thread then? Either leave the old one open or end the discussion. If the OP isn’t asking any questions, what are we supposed to respond to?

The questions are right there in the OP. I spun off this thread because the original was posted in October 2003, and the OP of that thread (and some of the posters in it) have not been around in a long time. It gets confusing if people start responding to seven-year-old posts without realizing it.