I have seen the debate raging over religion on these forums since I first arrived here. I only have one question if an unbeliever convinces a believer to not believe what is the reward. I can understand a believer will be rewarded by saving an unbeliever in his mind he thinks this to be true but I do not see the thought of reward on the part of the unbeliever. Is there a reward in your mind if you convince someone who has had their whole life formed around a religious faith to stop believing what is the reward??
Many unbelievers (and this goes for believers too) think that their way of thinking is better. If you could get everyone to think the way you think, wouldn't the world be an easier place to live in?
I think rationality is a big part of it. Atheists place huge importance on rationalism, logical, empirical facts. There is a perception that religious people are irrational. Voltaire said something like this: if you believe absurdities you will commit atrocities. Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
That's why religion and state power go so well together. Of course all humans, religious or not, are susceptible to absurdity. But religion requires a belief in absurd things.
You have saved them from a live of ignorance, opened their eyes to the possibilities of thought liberated from dogma and manipulated by ONE frame of reference, allowing them access to thoughts of people from around the world.
I am NOT saying that no person who is religious is capable of free thought. The thing is, TONS and TONS of them don't bother once they have the "truth" and "the" answers. It is those who can be "saved" from ignorance.
A natural inclination for you might be to add, "But their religion does good works and if you take that from them, what have you done to the world?" But not to worry, you don't have to be religious to be good. That's a dogmatic principle.
Also, you might worry that their security and comfort in "knowing" the end is taken from them; they can no longer rest comfortably in the belief that a loving God will take them in when they die, or hook them up with some virgins, or whatever else. Well, that is true, and it's sad in a way, but to treat them that way, to perpetrate such fantastic stories that deny reason is akin to treating them like children and allowing them to believe in Santa Claus and the Toothfairy too.
What if the believer was in recovery due to an addiction? Recently found religion and uses it every day to give them strength to persevere through recovery. You give them the facts and convince them that praying for strength will do them no good.
Have you benefited humanity by educating it?
So you are asking me if I would take medicine away from someone recovering from illness?
Hmm, what do I look like?
You don't tell your six-year-old there's no tooth fairy when their teeth start falling out either. Depending on the kid, that can be scary and the biology can be too complicated to calm them. When they are ready is when you tell them. Just like your recovering alchy, sometimes it's just easier to give them a supernatural being. It defies "actual" reason, but if it works, why mess with it.
but ... but .. Santa Claus is real, isn't he?
Of course, I believe, but the only reward for the scenario you describe is that finally they have brought someone else down to their own level of misery, pain and sorrow to share.
oh no reward at all, IMO. i would actually kind of feel bad if i helped topple someone's belief. then again, if it was that shaky to begin with, it wouldn't be my fault anyway. when i 'argue' with religious people it is usually to defend my position or get some questions answered, not to convince them to see it my way. usually, though, their (not all, just some) agenda is to convert you, in my experience.
The reward would be less violence and war. Most wars are over religion. Think how great this earth could be if there were less fighting, less war.
Although, saying that, I have just commented on a forum what will cause the next cull. Maybe we should let people have their religious views, go to war over them, and that in itself will be the cull needed for this earth.
Many wars are fought over differences in belief - religious or otherwise.
The true paradox of modern religion is there is only one God (for most believers) yet so many different beliefs in that one being that could be followed. However, we have only one President of the United States (at a time), so I wonder ... do we have differing rules on how we should follow the President?
In a sense, it's like custom denominations were fabricated to find room for all in faith. Some are very stringent while others are very loose in their beliefs.
The interesting note is that many see themselves as the ONLY truth and see all other religious denominations as false. Now ... if you get two of these fighting denominations in a room and both proclaim the other to be false, then by logic at least ONE must be false - though it is possible that BOTH are false.
This creates the second paradox of religion ... We are all told to follow, but we are told there are many false prophets out there leading us astray. As such, we can never be certain which road leads to an ultimate truth, or even, if such a road exists.
And this ... I think ... causes many religious wars, as the only means of removing the paradox for the believers is to remove the competition. After all, a non-believer is a convert in waiting, but a believer of another denomination is one competing for the souls of those not yet turned to belief.
Bottom line ... religion is supposed to be about bringing the good out of people, so religion should be incapable of causing wars. Yet, another paradox, and one worthy of note.
And I believe this is why so many people are disenchanted now with religion, as it preaches the good word and then turns on itself - as it determines 'the pure' from 'the impure'.
Modern man no longer fears the afterlife ... he fears the hell he must face here on Earth ... famine, plague, etc. And when he sees nothing being done he takes things into his own hands, realizing the job would never get done by wishing it to be done by someone else.
For some of us, we must discontinue belief when we see it doing more harm in the world than good. This, in its sense, becomes a new belief ... a belief in mankind. As such, one can promote humanity just as ably as one can promote God.
So, the reward for a non-believer to convert a believer? To place this in a context all will understand ... consider a cult.
If it were your son or daughter involved in a cult and they were brainwashing them against you, would you fight to get your son or daughter back? Absolutely! And to some non-believers, certain denominations are seen as cults and they believe they are liberating those believers from said cults to become free of the wrongful influence.
Anything that preaches hate should always be considered evil, regardless if it has religious or non-religious overtones. And as war is often hate ... war is typically evil - though some wars are fought to free people from aggression, and these should not be seen as evil.
For instance ... If a dictator rose to power and began to slaughter everyone in another country out of malice for their beliefs ... going to war with such a country, with the intent of liberating the ones that were being exterminated ... I would consider that as justified.
Great post yoshi97 interesting and you make some great points.
Who tells you to follow?
Really, that's how you view those who don't accept your beliefs, a void for you to fill, so to speak?
Notwithstanding, the zeal you exhibit in believing this emptiness within us is only matched by the monumental impertinence of your own self interests and complete lack of compassion and understanding.
In short sir, you insult all non-believers everywhere and are a cad.
He is you and you are him, identical in your zealotry and reproach to convert one another.
It has failed miserably, here.
Are you sure? Nothing to do with the non-believers-are-just-converts-in-waiting thingy?
That's called, "Prayer"
If the dictator was slaughtering people for not believing in Christianity, would you be justified for going to war?
Q ... Either you like to twist my words to meet your agenda or you just don't comprehend people very well. Let me misrepresent you in return so you can understand why I am very upset with you right now.
I once *was* religious and it shows in my writings, but I am now an 'agnostic'.
Main Entry: ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: \ag-ˈnäs-tik, əg-\
Etymology: Greek agnōstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnōstos known, from gignōskein to know — more at know
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2 : a person unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>
— ag·nos·ti·cism \-tə-ˌsi-zəm\ noun
As such, I won't dismiss the possibility of God, nor will I demand that he must exist.
You, on the other hand, keep trying to convert people to Christianity and you really need to stop! Let people believe what they will.
Oh, I see your underhandedness ... allow me to show how you slyly convert the flock ... The statements in-between the stars are YOUR words, not mine ...
*Who tells you to follow?*
This is a bait question to get someone to say God - nice try!
*Really, that's how you view those who don't accept your beliefs, a void for you to fill, so to speak?*
This is you, enraged that I might pull Christians away from your beliefs
*Notwithstanding, the zeal you exhibit in believing this emptiness within us is only matched by the monumental impertinence of your own self interests and complete lack of compassion and understanding.*
Be good to one another - help one another - these ideas belong to your religion, so it makes sense you would attack an agnostic for using them, as Christianity must convert or destroy the agnostic
*In short sir, you insult all non-believers everywhere and are a cad.*
Did I turn the pool against your church? Did I show them they could think for themselves and do good deeds - just because they choose to to so? Oh no!
*He is you and you are him, identical in your zealotry and reproach to convert one another.*
Just because I won't believe in your God doesn't make me a zealot. You're the one hollering believe! believe! believe!
*It has failed miserably, here.*
Yep! Your rebuttal is filling the pews right now, even as we speak!
*Are you sure? Nothing to do with the non-believers-are-just-converts-in-waiting thingy?*
Maybe their waiting for you, but they aren't waiting for me. I like non-believers just the way they are. If someone wants to believe or not believe it's their right to choose - that's what makes me an agnostic
*That's called, "Prayer"*
I told you ... I'm an agnostic! Must you keep trying to convert me?
*If the dictator was slaughtering people for not believing in Christianity, would you be justified for going to war?*
How many times have you Christians slaughtered non-believers in God's name? Such an indignant question, as the obvious answer should be NO ... it would never be justified.
So, Q, I read your replies just as well as you read what I wrote. At first I thought you were a non-believer, but when I saw how you converted my words from that of an agnostic to that of a believer I knew this could not be the work of a non-believer.
I see you for what you are ... a zealot believer trying to convert me through my own words! Keep your God, Q, as he never did anything for me.
If God truly exists then he sat by to watch a lot of bad things happen to good people. But then again, maybe God is nothing more than the combined effort of what we as human beings can do if we help one another, which means 'no mystical being - just us humans'. If that's the case, then maybe - just maybe - we can get smart one day and join our efforts together to turn things around.
Q ... believe in God, don't believe in God ... choose whatever path works. My message has nothing to do with God, but rather, points out the fallacy of those who are counting on God to make the world a better place.
It's what *we* do that determines whether or not Earth is a better place, and *that* is what I believe in - and *that* is the only belief I offer. Pray to God, curse at God ... but help your fellow man.
We don't need the threat of a supreme being to force us to be good people ... we should be intelligent enough to do it for ourselves. We should have outgrown organized religion centuries ago, and finally assumed full responsibility for everything that happens around us.
I'm not asking people to believe in something they can't see, feel, or touch. As a race we have grown up and are beyond that now. I'm asking people to believe in one another ... and that's very tangible and real.
Don't ever lump me in the zealot pile again, Q, as I think with this message you should once and for all understand I do not belong in that heap.
I understand those who are able to express themselves well.
I did not misrepresent you, your posts indicate clearly you have a belief in a god, you've even made reference to your beliefs being in line with jesus and god in several of your past posts.
A person who writes as many words as I do risks being misunderstood. After rereading my posts in this thread, and others dealing with religion, I can see where I go to the nine at the keyboard and deal out endless confusion. Point well noted.
Again, I still hold to the principle that I am now an Agnostic, but I don't want to go into the reasons why. What I do know is that the *deeply religious* side still wants to get out (habit, I suppose), but that just angers me more as I realize the betrayals it offers me.
I suppose I have no choice but to continue believing in God, as I am still very angry - and as said elsewhere, you can't be angry with something you don't believe in - it's irrational. I just wish I could drop the anger and let it all go ...
I cannot believe someone has the patience and cares enough to write something that long on a forum :S
They actually believe god doesn't exit and believers are juts fooling themselves.
The answer to the last question is a simple one.
My grandfather told me many years ago... Misery loves company.
A Christian attempting the conversion of anyone is futile.
It is written that The Lord gives faith to those that he will.
We can not go out there and catch um and fix um.
A Christian should be like a fruit tree standing in plain sight.. Just to be there in case someone comes by that is hungry.
And the Lord, if he wants that person to have some, will lead that person to the tree.
Christians are supposed to be like that tree.
And when the crows come and throw the fruit to the ground...
This will be for the sake of those that can not climb.
Yep and that sin is far from us too.
1By David. Bless, O my soul, Jehovah, And all my inward parts -- His Holy Name.
2Bless, O my soul, Jehovah, And forget not all His benefits,
3Who is forgiving all thine iniquities, Who is healing all thy diseases,
4Who is redeeming from destruction thy life, Who is crowning thee -- kindness and mercies,
5Who is satisfying with good thy desire, Renew itself as an eagle doth thy youth.
6Jehovah is doing righteousness and judgments For all the oppressed.
7He maketh known His ways to Moses, To the sons of Israel His acts.
8Merciful and gracious [is] Jehovah, Slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.
9Not for ever doth He strive, Nor to the age doth He watch.
10Not according to our sins hath He done to us, Nor according to our iniquities Hath He conferred benefits upon us.
11For, as the height of the heavens [is] above the earth, His kindness hath been mighty over those fearing Him.
12As the distance of east from west He hath put far from us our transgressions.
13As a father hath mercy on sons, Jehovah hath mercy on those fearing Him.
14For He hath known our frame, Remembering that we [are] dust.
15Mortal man! as grass [are] his days, As a flower of the field so he flourisheth;
16For a wind hath passed over it, and it is not, And its place doth not discern it any more.
17And the kindness of Jehovah [Is] from age even unto age on those fearing Him, And His righteousness to sons' sons,
18To those keeping His covenant, And to those remembering His precepts to do them.
19Jehovah in the heavens Hath established His throne, And His kingdom over all hath ruled.
20Bless Jehovah, ye His messengers, Mighty in power -- doing His word, To hearken to the voice of His Word.
21Bless Jehovah, all ye His hosts, His ministers -- doing His pleasure.
22Bless Jehovah, all ye His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless, O my soul, Jehovah!
Jerami, I completely love this, did you find this somewhere or is it yours? More of what your grandfather said? Whatever, it's wonderful.
Why there has to be a reward ? So you only do things to get a reward ? that's interesting !
Hi Ms. "T" I see your back ..No I meant .. you'r ..back
Welcone home nice tatoo on, not your back
hi Jerami! Nice 2 C U ! Yes I'm back, And playing by the 'Rules'
Non believers are threatened by the believers happiness, its a case of insecurity and immaturity all wrapped up in a big bundle. But, the believers sometimes are aggressive and judgmental when they should be caring and sharing.
The reward for an unbeliever to convince a believer to become an unbeliever is mostly for the heart of the new unbeliever, who can now live their life as they see fit, and not how some nomads wandering aimlessly through the desert saw fit to run their totally non-urban, non-modern lives.
Of course, simple history tells us the reward for the unbeliever who convinces a believer not to believe anymore: less fanatical frothing-at-the-mouth believers means less Inquisitions, less stonings, less lynchings, etc., of unbelievers.
Its rather telling about the real face of religion that in order for nonbelievers to start acting violent like believers, they have to get batsh*t insane first.
simplified version of HOW RELIGIOUS ARGUMENTS START
personA (believer or not, doesnt matter) “what do you think?”
PersonB (opposite belief of A)..“blah blah”
PersonA “your wrong.”
I think I get your question. Believers who can advance their beliefs feel that they're doing some good and that there will be a reward for that. Atheists expect no similar reward for promoting their beliefs. I think we all take comfort that we're on the right track when others agree with us. It probably makes us feel more validated.
Nice looking shepherd.
This raging debate of religion is exclusively set upon the ignorance of people who refuse to learn or adapt, because they are content living their life in the manner in which they are.
I am of the understanding that Evolution is fact. I understand that Evolution is a constant and forever moving. This is proven by science. Every life form evolves.
My prime example of evolution and it's a fact- is to simply look at Humankind. You can look at them as a whole or as an individual. The proof of Evolution exists inside each person on the planet- it's their individual consciousness. The Human consciousness wasn't always present inside humankind. There was a time at which people were guided by Nature, like animals are now.
Again, science has already proven that to be true. The question is How many people knew about it? Probably not many, because of religious influence in society. Religious/Spiritual Leaders of the free world, constantly try to discredit science discovery, so as to keep perpetuating the hoax of a false idol.
And, don't ask me to provide links. If you seriously want to learn, do the research. I have and I'm spreading it all throughout my hubs, as I publish them. I don't offer up conjecture, I give out truth about what I've learned, all the knowledge and wisdom I can muster, so as to get people to change their way of thinking.
What do I get out of making a believer to a non-believer? Spirituality. I know I am helping them take control of their life and giving them the tools to best succeed going forward. There is no doubt on my behalf and my conscience is clear.
My study of religion and of religious doctrines has proven the doctrines to be false goals or goals that are 100% unattainable.
The actual doctrines themselves are 100% "Anti-Life" and harmful to the human organism.
But, Thank you for presenting this question. It was fun answering it.
I think you hit the nail on the head.
seems some people have plenty of time to argue as well, I try not take part in these forums, just the light hearted ones, Ive got my opinion, and im not on here to argue it, im on here to write lots of good hubs
William R. Wilson Good point yet science requires an element of faith and belief as well. I believe in electrons I have never seen one yet I have faith that they exist. I used to believe in Evolution until I read Evolution a Theory in Crisis I am not sure of the author. It did cause me to question things I had accepted as fact all my life. Now I am researching evolution and have more questions arise the more thought I put into it. I do not disbelieve evolution I just question the facts.
But you can see an electron if you choose to go to lab and look through an electron microscope. That analogy doesn't hold water at all.
Now I read that by the time you focused the microscope the electron has moved. Have you seen an electron?
You can see it's "footprints" in ways that don't require faith, and that are further defined as necessary by math. If you want to say that's "the same thing" as believing in God, then I'll give you your analogy on technical grounds... rather like they let criminals go because a cop didn't read them their rights.
Have electrons and atoms always existed in infinity or was there a point in time that something happened to excite the first electron into motion?
You can believe in the Big Bang, or you can believe that God started the Big Bang. You can believe the universe has always existed, or you can believe that God has always existed and created the universe.
Where the God versions fall apart is that they require a creator for their to be a universe while the eternal universe ones do NOT require a creator and allow for things to "just be." The "creator required" thing that God believers have turns back on itself, however, because if you require a creator to make stuff, then who created God? I don't require a creator, so my universe can have come about however it did, which I don't claim to know, or it can always have been. I don't need it to have a mommy or daddy.
Electrons are not about faith. You wouldn't be typing on a computer and reading these words if it wasn't for our understanding of electrons.
I can make predictions and do things based on the science of electrons. These predictions will come true, and I can demonstrate this to you.
What can you do based on God? Sometimes prayer seems to work, quite often it doesn't. Maybe it makes you feel a certain way, but that doesn't change my life or anyone else's.
Faith is a personal thing. Religious faith is based on the evidence of things not seen.
Science is based on things that can be seen and tested and repeated.
Hundreds of years ago people invented pumps to get water out of the ground without being able to describe the science behind it. Science explained why the pump worked but did not really invent the pump itself. The same goes for telescopes they were not invented by astronomers but by glass blowers and metallurgists. So science really explains those things to us we already know to be true but not the reason why they work.
But science did in fact lay the groundwork for the mission to the moon, the space shuttle, ICBMs, nuclear energy, electric power plants, modern hygiene, open heart surgery, prozac, lipitor, computers....
Humans didn't just invent any of these things without understanding the science.
You've never seen a bolt of lightning or static electricity? If so, you have seen electrons in motion, my friend.
Overcoming the bunk parts of religion would probably bring me satisfaction. There is a lot of "tradition for the sake of tradition" in the world, and a lot of ignorance of science for no particularly good reason.
But God is not religion. For me to crush someone's belief in God - not religion, but God - is certainly pretentious and uncalled for. I cannot prove that God is not real. As many doubts as can be made about the existence of God, it is both philosophically and scientifically impossible to absolutely disprove (or prove, for that matter) whether God exists.
Which is why these circular debates continue onwards...
William R. Wilson I am not trying to answer for you sorry I should have used a question mark. Do love and compassion actually exist even though science cannot define them?
BTW I do enjoy our conversations.
I believe they do to and that is what leaves the door open to the existence of god just because it cannot be defined by science does not mean it does not exist. I have questions about everything and people who make up their minds either way and then close their minds to other possibilities are in my opinion doing themselves a disservice.
I believe in the religion of super pretty, totally cool hoop skirts!
I coulda swore 'they' send you a medal for converting a believer to atheism?????
Most atheists I know were pushed to it by zealot believers so not to many medals in circulation I guess
QUOTE: I don't know a single atheist who is trying to "witness".
Atheists have conviction, the same as believers. But there is no agenda.
There are a couple of people on here (Cagsil maybe?) who DO have an agenda and specifically said they try to convert people from christianity. They find it dangerous and offensive that people believe in God.
A true believer practices a deep faith especially of sharing to unbelievers and any thought of reward here on earth is farthest from his mind. The last destroys the true purpose of his belief. That's just my opinion.
Non believers are threatened by the believers happiness, its a case of insecurity and immaturity all rapped up in a big bundle
We are so immature and so insecure !
We feel threatened by your happiness
all these wrapped in a big bundle !
And I never said you were.
I'm talking to an hypothetical believer who thinks I'm threatened by his happiness.
I never said I was a hypothetical believer.
Beliefs are memes, they are part of an ecology of thought which has colonized our species' minds. They fight for survival and territory. Language is a virus. What's the antidote?
Once you realize religion is all a sham you could just walk away from it, but a lot of people have some anger regarding the whole thing. A lot of people, upon realizing they've been lied to their whole life, want there to be an accounting. They want to throw it in the face of the liars that they've got on, make some noise, generally make their displeasure known. So they don't just walk away.
And when you're looking at religion, and you're not indoctrinated into looking at it in a certain way, there's plenty of things to keep you raging mad at it. And you don't need to fall back on dramatic examples from history like the crusades or the inquisition, or any such thing.
If you just browse through places where people talk about religion you start seeing all sorts of terrible things. People experiencing real fear and anxiety for the souls of friends and loved ones who they believe are doomed to Hell or are already there, people struggling with guilt over their sexuality (and not just homosexuals, religion has all sorts of bizarre sexual hang-ups), people asking for permission to hold certain opinions, people who insist that their god creates a just and orderly universe and so insisting that disaster and misfortune must be deserved by those people they fall on, people who are being shunned by their family for not believing in its religion "correctly"...
Once you realize all that fear and mistrust is all for nothing, all of it stems from the same obviously incorrect idea, you can't help but hate the source a little.
Cagsil Thanks for the answer I asked it to help me write some of my hubs. It is in relation to people who go through a recovery program where belief in a higher power is encouraged. If a person prays for strength to stay clean would you convince that person that his prayers would not be answered and that actually he was on his own. I would greatly appreciate your input as I respect you and the answers you provide.
My attempt would be to give them the knowledge that they themselves have no need to seek guidance from a higher authority for more strength, hopeful to make them realize that their free will is the most powerful tool they have access to and in combination with their thoughts about remaining clean or clear of their problem, each day gives them renewed strength. And, if need be, I would help in the new direction they choose to move forward with.
The decision isn't about a GOD or it's power. It's the power of the will to overcome.
Arthur's question is quite interesting.
A contribution to an answer, could be the fact that in these "religious" forums, a lot of people come to joust or just tilt (I just picked these on the dictionnary).
There's no research done, no debate.
Anyway how can you debate on methaphysics otherwise than rhetorically ?
Just affirming. Self affirming.
The quality of a rhetorical debate, resides in the richness of the language and the elegance of the twist you give to your syllogisms...
So the reward should be merely egocentric.
Because no rhetorical debate can lead to enlightment. It's just good to spend time and practise form.
Another problem is, you never know who is behind an avatar.
And we seem to have some different degrees of education here.
You don't argue an educated person the same way you talk to an ignorant. (supposedly ignorant, relatively to yourself, I mean), or a proselyte (which from my point of view is an attitude that meets profound ignorance)
Often, expressing one's opinions freely like we do everyday in Europe, can offend people from different backgrounds, even in the very core of the USA (Oh Lord Jesus Christ!). Taliban is not specific to Afghanistan...
And that is dreadful.
A good thing would be to be capable of talking to anyone and always bring (or get) something more or less valuable to (or from) the exchange.
But that demands great "spirits"...
zampano My Si Jo taught me when I was young that when the student is ready the teacher shall appear. The teacher can come in many forms and sometimes is not recognized for the benefit they can provide you. I try not to make that mistake and I am open to learning something from everyone I meet. Even my dog has taught me loyalty, responsibility, and patience.
My bigest fear is that if I only one word of wisdom to share, on one would be listening. what is your bigest fear??
...that someone would be listening...?
Can you repeat please ?
I didn't studddddd eeee rrrr did I... Have you ever had only one word of wisdom?????
Was any one listening when uttered this ONE word of wisdom.????
There is no reason for you to address me, in such a way. I learn, through which, I gain wisdom. I guess, since you now have my attention, why don't you try to lay some of your wisdom down on me, and we'll see if your knowledge was wrongly perceived. Hence, making your wisdom also false.
But, if you would like a piece of advice...don't pursue this matter. I'm not willing to debate with you about what wisdom is, when there is a remote possibility you wouldn't understand it to begin with. I have no knowledge of your intellect, but what I have derived from your statement an ineptitude to form a correctly worded statement, or even how to post a correctly formatted post? Who knows....anything is possible.
So, please do tell you're ultimate wisdom and we'll just see what you've got up your sleeve?
Hmmm good question took a little while to find something.
My biggest fear is the health and safety of my family. I do not have anykind of phobia about it but it would have to be the thing I would fear most in the world.
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