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FreeThinkers of Fort Worth Message Board The Door › Ok, what's the difference between...

Ok, what's the difference between...

A former member
Post #: 31
An Athiest and a disgruntled Christian?
A former member
Post #: 32
Ok, I'll tell you.

A disgruntled Christian uses the Bible, which s/he is arguing is invalid, as a reference to frame her/his position for being an atheist, thus invalidating the premise. An atheist doesn't need to reference any religion to make her/his point.

True or False?
Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 27
Hmmm. Well, I do enjoy opening up the Bible to enumerate its specious ideas.
A former member
Post #: 9
Oh... I thought that was the beginning to a joke! Like, an atheist, a Buddhist, and a Muslim walk into a bar kind of thing...

Use of the Bible depends on who I'm talking to actually. I don't need the Bible as a reference point for my own beliefs, but a lot of people use it to define theirs. So when I am communicating with those people, it's useful to start from a place they accept as valid. And, as a post-Christian thinker, I can't deny that biblical knowledge is a big part of my past, even though I no longer believe in a supreme being.
A former member
Post #: 33
If I were smarter I would have happily made it into a joke. :)

And, ok...by using the image of a supreme being as a jumping off point, doesn't the arguer in fact maintain a god concept in mind to argue against? A true atheist would have none....and still be able to maintain the premise.

And hi guys. :)
Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 28
Then the difference is typically a matter of difficulty in reaching a decision. One can look at the world and point out a lot of things and events that dispute the notion of God, or one can look at an ancient "holy book" and find faults there, too. Of course it is much easier and more pragmatic (by that I mean less stressful) to not believe in God than it is to believe and gradually conclude from the sacred scriptures and the behavior of countless of his followers throughout history that he is a very real and eternally rampaging SOB. From my upbringing and experiences, what I'm saying is that I think it's incredibly important to understand and reveal the psychological damage that belief in god does to people and take a stand about the utter absurdity of the existence of the God I was raised to believe in and worship and tell others about.
A former member
Post #: 34
You reference a "holy book". Is it easier to find fault with the holy book? Or to negate its writing while using it as a pretext to negation? Or is the true atheist just in saying.."It's all an illusion, and none if it matters,"?

The reason I ask is...

I've been told since I was 7 that all of this is an illusion, including our anger about it being an illusion.

If your God concept for proof or lack of proof is founded in any religion, you must relinquish the idea of being an atheist.
A former member
Post #: 10
It may be an illusion, but I disagree completely that none of it matters. How people treat one another is perhaps one of the few things that really does matter, and many people (I daresay a majority) base how they think they should treat people on religious teaching. Recognizing the god-myth for what it is means accepting a level of personal responsibility that a lot of people just won't allow themselves to fathom.

I have been asked how I keep myself from stealing things and killing people if I don't believe in God, which is so jaw-droppingly absurd that I had a hard time answering the question with a straight face. But the question was revelatory as well. Some people believe so strongly in the control of a supreme being that there is no way for them to conceive of existence apart from a God figure.

I don't really want to convince anyone not to believe in God, largely because I don't think it's possible. I would like to say I don't really care what people believe, but I do care about how people behave, and that behavior is determined by beliefs. A lot of those beliefs have nothing to do with what's in a holy book, they're just invented by people and stamped "Made by God" to make the beliefs seem unassailable. But most Christians believe in the Bible as a spiritual authority, so challenging the behavior of someone who claims to be a Christian carries a lot more weight to them if the challenge comes from scripture rather than the "fallible human logic of a non-believer."

While some people may see that word "challenge" as being confrontational for the sake of being confrontational, I'm thinking here of challenging someone in a way that helps them grow. A religious person may have little reason to believe anything that comes out of the mouth of an atheist, but it's hard to argue with "the word of God." There is certainly a lot of rubbish in the Bible, but honestly, if Christians actually lived by the teachings of their namesake, I think the world would be a better place. It doesn't really matter if any of the Bible is historically accurate, if all the people who claimed to be followers of Christ actually lived like it, all of the psychological abuse and hatred that spews from pulpits and church programs would cease to exist. I don't have to believe it to benefit from it.

Of course, I also think the world would be a better place if people suddenly acknowledged that there is no God and started taking personal responsibility for all the things they conveniently abdicate to God. I don't really see that as likely, but it's fun to use my imagination.
Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 29
No, it was not in any way easy for me to find fault with the Bible, not after being told for so many years that it contained the ultimate truth.
A former member
Post #: 35
I guess in a way I'm lucky because even though I grew up with the Bible, I also grew up with people who doubted a lot of it. I was let in on the truths of it, ie the improbabilities of any part of the Jesus mthology, the fact that there were parts of the Bible that didn't get canonized, that there is another kind of Christian called Gnostic that doesn't read the New Testament literally and that women figured prominantly in the early texts but were taken out later etc. So with my different perspective I came up with this question because I keep hearing scripture being used to prove how scripture is wrong....you know?
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