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I very much do not agree with the parenting philosophy that says that the right way to present religion to children is by saying, “Everyone has their own opinions, some people believe in God and some don’t, etc, etc.”
Yes, everyone does have their own “opinions”, just like everyone has their own favorite colors. But religious faith is part of actual history, philosophy, and politics, and is far more complicated than just one opinion versus another. Scientology is not “equally valid” compared to Christianity, or Islam, or Paganism, or a whole list of other religions that I don’t believe in personally. There are ways to determine credible beliefs from those that are less credible, and decide for yourself what is likely to be truth. There are logical reasons why we hold certain traits about God to be true and reject all others, and logical reasons why some philosophical ideas are more popular than others.
But it is completely unreasonable is to expect a CHILD, with no prior knowledge or instruction, to figure out what is true, and what they should believe about life. It comes across as either lazy parenting or a more diplomatic way of saying “I want to raise my child to be atheist/agnostic”- because if one’s parents have no respect or understanding for religious tradition or history, why would we expect their children to have any*? At the very least, the parent should be able to explain their own beliefs, and how they reached that conclusion.
Regardless of what your personal feelings of any religion are, ignorance is never a positive trait. Don’t encourage it in children.
(*Not that I object to children becoming atheist/agnostic, but it should be a well-reasoned conclusion and a genuine choice.)
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Tip for atheists: Exploitation of poor people isn’t nearly as convincing an anti-religion argument as helping those people would be.
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"If God didn’t exist, humans would invent Him anyway!"
Couple things I don’t understand about this quote. Acknowledge first that there’s a difference between “God” and “religion”, and also a difference between the many different types of religions:
1. If God didn’t exist, we would still want to believe that the universe had been created by a benevolent, compassionate, omnipotent being. The argument I take from this is that anything people really want to believe is true can’t possibly be true. Easily demonstrable as a logical fallacy: I want to believe my mother loves me. Assuming her word can be trusted, this is also likely to be true. Other things I may want to be true, or may have no opinion about, but either way, there is no logical relationship between my belief desire and the truth or falsehood of the actual event. Thus, if it is true that I- and by extension, other human believers- want to believe in a God, then that belief has nothing to do with His existence. I.E. the quote is not an argument for disbelief, but a logical fallacy.
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Atheists who quote the bible to accuse other people of bad morality/bad Christianity…
You’re violating someone else’s religious standards in order to accuse them of violating their own religious standards. It’s so unbelievably hypocritical I don’t know how you do this without eating your own face off.
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I don’t believe in a literal devil, but I like writing about him in books. To the people who ask ‘why would the devil punish me for doing what he wants me to do?!’
…Because he’s evil. It’s what evil does. Want love or understanding? You gotta talk to God about that.
Brainwashing occurs in many forms, sometimes in the form of short, repeated phrases that are often disguised attempts to alter someone’s perception of reality. There’s a difficulty in discussing largely-subjective truths(like belief) as if they are self-evident in reality. I have far more basis to believe that 2+2 =4, for example(and to quote 1984), than to know that God exists in the world- I accept that. It is a belief that is difficult to define in an objective sense.
But memes- short, repeated ideas that are attempts to alter someone else’s perception of reality- are not logical reasons to disbelieve or believe in God. If I created a meme that repeats the words, “Atheism is just a delusion” over and over again, is that an attempt at brainwashing, or am I just offering my own counter-opinion?
What I’m getting at is not so much a problem with THIS meme(there are plenty stupider ones), but a problem with the way many atheists talk about belief and atheism and reality- as if it should be self-evident that God does not exist, and the ONLY REASON a person believes otherwise is due to brainwashing. Really? I’m sure my parents told me at some point in time that God exists, but since that conversation, whenever it was, we’ve pretty much gone our separate ways, belief-wise.
My experiences, my studies, my self-reflection, have led me to the conclusion that God exists… and I find it disturbingly Orwellian that the most common counter to that truth is for others to insist that it’s a lie, that they know the truth instead, and if I want to be considered smart/logical/ethical/not brainwashed, I should accept their truth instead. Mmhm.
(It’s also the height of hypocrisy to tell someone to “think for themselves” while encouraging them to think the way you do- but I figured that was too obvious)
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Anonymous said: People are quick to judge Peter by the actions of Judas. More than anything though nonbelievers have a very bad misunderstanding of Christianity.
They do, which is partly a reflection that the churches aren’t doing a very good job teaching their faith, and a terrible one teaching apologetics… that said, I feel that a good rule for criticizing other beliefs is that you, yourself, understand it. There are atheists who do this, and their criticisms are far more interesting and substantial than ‘lol, religious people are so dumb’.
But they are not the majority, in large part because the most visible and widely recognized atheists are people who make a VIRTUE of not understanding faith or theology. They learn just enough to be smug, to use knowledge as a weapon against those who may not have the time or the inclination or the resources to know what their religion actually teaches. And that’s unfortunate for the believers, but it’s unfortunate for the non-believers, too. Either way, you can’t successfully criticize or defend something unless you recognize subtlety of thought, and that requires… well, work. People tend to hate that.
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Non-believers: You’re not following your religion right!
Me: You’re not following my religion at all.
Non-believers: That’s because it’s all BS!
Me: Then why do you care if I’m following it right?
Non-believers: Ugh! Christians are such hypocrites!
I understand criticism of Christians who say NOTHING but hateful things, but still… some atheists are more judgmental about Christianity than any actual Christians I talk to.
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I think a lot about why we pray and what value it has for me. There’s often the argument that prayer is used to make ourselves feel better about people we’re not doing anything for, and it’s one that makes me angry and frustrated.
But maybe there’s some truth to it.
(This may be upsetting)
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