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Snoggera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:26 PM
Original message
If you were born and raised without the concept of a god
how do you believe you would react?

Would god make him/her self known to you?

Would you have to invent one just to get by in this world?

Would the idea seem like a silly fairytale?

(I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a flamefest, though am perfectly aware that the topic is controversial. I don't intend to respond, but hope to get some thoughtful answers. Thanks.)
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. I was raised Lutheran, but now am an atheist
I don't really fit the profile of your question, but I think I can say with confidence that you don't need to "invent" god to get along in the world. In fact, I un-invented god(s), in order to better get along in the world.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Raised In A Methodist / Presbyterian Household
And like you, I gave up my beliefs. My reasons were because they were just too hateful and contradictory. My life has been much happier since then.

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RebelYell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
29. I also was raised Lutheran
I'm atheist now - I asked the hard questions and got no answers.

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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. I was raised an orthodox agnostic
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 02:37 PM by Cyrano
and have since become an ultra-orthadox agnotstic.

I really don't care what anyone else believes, as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's beliefs or rights.

(On edit: If some he/she/it supreme entity makes him/her/itself known to me I sure as hell hope it's George Burns.)
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jedicord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Exactly, from Chief Tecumseh:
"Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours."

I think I'm gonna have that laminated and pass it out like business cards!
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was raised an atheist
And still am, although I've grown a lot more spiritual -- in reality I'm a pantheist, but I like to call myself an atheist just to piss off the monotheists out there.

When I was a kid, the idea of religion seemed exactly like a silly fairy tale. Now I don't think it's so benign.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. I was raised without a dominant religion
Didn't affect my outlook on the world in any way - execept to say that instead of being nice as some sort of reward to get into heaven, I'm nice just because I'm a nice person.

I think we'd be a lot better off if we all just did nice things just to be nice and not to curry favor with the man (or woman) upstairs.
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phillybri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. What is your sig line from?
It just cracked me up!!!
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. from some baked beans commerical
I forget the name of the company (I'm hoping it's not Bush's, because that would be ironic) but its got a dog in the commerical and at the end the guy (who kinda looks like Ari Fleischer) says 'now roll that beautiful bean footage' :hi:
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southpaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. It is, indeed, Bush's...
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TEXASYANKEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
18. Same here.
And I agree that I wish people would do nice things just to be nice and not as a way to get into Heaven.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. I suspect God would be made known to you - you'd find GOD - indeed
that is what seems to happen.

But atheism is a good faith - although I find it hard to believe.

And being an agnostic allows one to not think too hard about the question of creation!

:-)

peace - in whatever way you - we - can achieve it.

:-)
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Excuse me, papau, but , "being an agnostic allows one to
not think too hard about the question of creation." ???

I beg to differ, but the people who do not think to hard about the question of creation are those who are believers in one religion or another. They buy into whatever dogma that it is they buy into and don't give it much, if any thought.

As an agnostic, I can tell you that life is a constant search for meaning, without any preconceived biases attached to that search.

Agnostics not only question authority, they question everything, which is a quite healthy way to live and think. Try it sometime.


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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. Ah - I agree - question everything - but if you question creation I do not
see how you do not become a person of faith.

So my conclusion is that to be agnostic, one does not question creation - at least not as deeply as a person of faith.

Granted the above logic may be seen a bit circular - but it works for me since to question creation - how and perhaps even why was the universe I see created - to me - always leads to faith.

While our starting points may differ (and the meaning of words may differ - as in what is "real" - a sensory input to the brain gets a different reaction/interpretation in different brains), the idea of "Keep questioning forever" is also a value that people of faith have.

So it appears that we can at least agree that "question everything is a quite healthy way to live and think"!!!

:toast:

:-)
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. Ask a Billion Chinese
who were raised under a secular government. Most of them are pretty sane.

Or any communist society -- Cuba or people raised in the Soviet Union. It does make a difference, but not as much as you might think.
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realisticphish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. This might be a good place to ask this
I'm a Christian, but that really doesn't matter, in this case. My question is for athiests. You deny the existance of any god or supernatural being, correct? But this simply doesn't fit with science (all this is IMHO, of course). No matter how infinately small, or large, or backward or forward in time you go, there was a point where there was nothing, then there was something. This alone is a mind boggling idea, especially for the scientifically minded. Now, is it some bearded dude that shoots lighting? Dunno. Is it some 27th demension energy force vibrating superstrings? Again, dunno. But to me, there HAS to be some point where science stops and there is no explanation but the supernatural. I choose to believe in God, and Christ, for several reasons; a. i was raised that way, b. I don't like the idea of a non-afterlife, and c. what the hell does it hurt? I don't allow it to affect my worldy views at all; my Christianity is "Be nice to people" and thats pretty much all that matters.


:hippie: The Incorrigible Democrat
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Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Belief in God doesn't answer this question though
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 03:37 PM by 56kid
"there was a point where there was nothing, then there was something"

Then where did God come from?
God is a something according to those who believe in God.

Man is incapable of answering that question with anything other than faith and belief, not with actual knowledge.

This holds true for atheists, agnostics and believers.
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realisticphish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. o I agree
I was referring to the idea that there is no possibility of a God's existance (which is what people calling themselves athiest have described to me, sorry if I was misinformed). Faith, by defination is based on non-evidence, so like you say, man is incapable of answering where did God come from, what is god, where is god, etc.


:hippie: The Incorrigible Democrat
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. There was no "was"
When there was nothing there was no time either. It's impossible to say it, because our language assumes a timeline... But there was never a point at which there was nothing. As soon as there was time, there was something. Fucked up sentences. I know. You know what I mean?
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realisticphish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. Yeah lol
But at some instant, t=0, everything happened. Or at least the ingrediants for everything happened. That could be the quantum singularity, or i suppose the singularity could have existed after time began, though I'm no cosmologist, so I don't even know if that's possible. Like you say, there is no word to describe it; why don't we create on? Ex-temporal? DMV?


:hippie: The Incorrigible Democrat
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Goldmund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. In order for things to "happen"
there has to be a "before" and "after". There is no such thing as an isolated process; everything that "happens" is a consequence of what "happened" before and it inevitably influences what will happen "after". In order for something to "happen" there has to be a "before" in which the event had never occured. So I don't agree that at some instant everything "happened" or even that everything "began". Actually, it's not even an instant, since it's only approachable from one side.

Ex-temporal, DMV, bro.
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realisticphish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. damn you
and your logic! fuck I was going to come back with something intelligent but nothing works when compared to your argument. I bow to thee....



:hippie: The Incorrigible Democrat
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damnraddem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. No, there are places where science stops and has no explanation --
not no explanation but the supernatural. Science is about the natural -- knows nothing about the supernatural, including whether or not there is such a thing. Going backward in time, science gets back to asymptotically approaching the Big Bang, and then doesn't know -- and current science doesn't think that it can know. Some would say that time started with the Big Bang, so there was no 'before.' Of course science changes as it learns more and reconceptualizes better, so it might someday know something. As to the remote future, as I understand it, the evidence now points to continuing expansion and entropy -- someting, but less energetic something, from now on. As to the exceedingly small, something does emerge from nothing, but also returns to nothing, with no net change at the macro level. Now, all this may seem weird, but it follows from what science knows from the natural world it can observe -- that is, until science reconceptualizes what follows from its observations. It says nothing about anything alleged to be supernatural.

Basically, science can say nothing about the supernatural because its job is to provide natural explanations for natural phenomena. That is complicated enough a job for science, but it is one that science does well.

So, look to your own faith, your own wishes, and so on, for your religion -- science is the wrong place to look. As an agnostic, I would prefer that there were an afterlife, a god, an eminent purpose for it all. But my wishes don't make it so. But a question: why wouldn't you let your religion affect your 'worldly views'? After all, living in the world is about more than what science can tell one -- it's also about feelings, about values, about 'being nice to people.' Now, science can offer utilitarian insights: if you value Y, then here is how to best achieve Y. But it cannot tell you what at base to value. Agnostics and atheists have ethics, drawn from varied sources; why wouldn't someone who identifies as a Christian draw at least some of one's ethics from one's religion, especially when it's a religion that states that has explicit moral teachings?
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realisticphish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I see your point with science
And I'm not disputing anything, I just honestly wanted to see what people thought. As to your last point, that was my fault, I misspoke (mistyped?). Basic ethics, love thy neighbor, the golden rule, etc, is what I follow, specifically the teachings of Christ; NOT the old testament. In truth, Christians should basically ignore the old testament, since the whole point of Christ's death was to make all the old traditions (sacrifices, etc) moot. So, in short, the ten commandments don't mean shit. A good guideline, but not law. And of course there are exceptions, where Christ may have said this or that,that goes against what I believe, but the way I see it is that there is NO untranslated original version of the bible. Ergo, it could have been (and IMO, has definitely been) altered by translators, and in fact the writers of the gospels themselves (such as the vilification of women, and the ignorance of the gnostic books). What I meant by my statement was that though it may say somewhere in the NT that homosexuality is wrong, I don't care. I think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Same with many other things; i.e. I don't allow my faith to dictate my views on a subject, when I can clearly see that another thing is true, or moral. Hopefully this answered your question


:hippie: The Incorrigible Democrat
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damnraddem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
14. I was raised Catholic. Now I'm agnostic.
I have no idea what I would think had I been raised atheist. But I've known people raised without religion who later turned to religion -- some would have it that they hadn't been properly innoculated. The thing is in this country: it's hard to avoid being hit over the head with religion. So, it's very likely that someone raised without a concept of a god will soon have one, if only to reject it -- and for that matter, someone raised an atheist may well be raised with a pre-rejected concept of a god.

If there is a God, She might well make Herself known -- but how would one know for sure that that was what was happening? Well, obviously, as an agnostic, I don't think that one would know for sure.

What amazes me is how many religions think that what's important is believing the right thing, rather than doing the right thing. Seems like a loving God would want people to do the right thing, love thy neighbor and so on, no matter what they happened to believe.
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RandomKoolzip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. I was raised atheist.
My dad was an anarchist and very critical of religion.

I'm still an atheist, and happy, too. I'm comfortable with ambiguity. I'm not torn up at night wondering what the "afterlife" is like. I've never had to rely on superstitions to cheer me up, either.
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TopesJunkie Donating Member (979 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
24. At what age can a child grasp the concept of God?
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
27. human consciousness would demand the question be asked "What Else?"
Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.

The First Book of Bokonon

Verses 2-4

"In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

"And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.

"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.

"Certainly," said man.

"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.

"And He went away."


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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
28. There's a science fiction book (actually several) with similar concepts
A Case of Conscience
by James Blish


The citizens of the planet Lithia are some of the most ethical sentient beings Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez has ever encountered. True, they have no literature, no fine arts, and don't understand the concept of recreation, but neither do they understand the concepts of greed, envy, lust, or any of the sins and vices that plague humankind. Their world seems darned near perfect. And that is just what disturbs the good Father.

First published in 1959, James Blish's Hugo Award-winning A Case of Conscience is science fiction at its very best: a fast-paced, intelligent story that offers plenty of action while at the same time explores complex questions of values and ethics. In this case, Blish has taken on the age-old battle of good vs. evil. Lithia poses a theological question that lies at the heart of this book: is God necessary for a moral society? The Lithians are nothing if not moral. Not only do they lack the seven deadly sins, they also lack original sin. And without any sort of religious framework, they have created the Christian ideal world, one that humans would be eager to study and emulate. But is it too perfect? Is it in fact, as Father Ruiz-Sanchez suspects, the work of The Adversary? And what role does Egtverchi, the young Lithian raised on Earth, play? Is he an innocent victim of circumstance, or will he bring about the Dies Irae, the day of the wrath of God, upon the earth? The fate of two worlds hinges on the answers to these questions, and will lead to an ancient earth heresy that shakes the Jesuit priest's beliefs to their very core.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/034543835...
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