How is faith supposed to benefit us more than direct interaction with an actual deity? If a deity were to prove his or her existence to me, if incontrovertible proof became manifest, I would simply believe. I might not obey, worship, fear, etc., but it would make sense to believe in a deity whose existence has been proved.
The irony here is that some theists seem to think atheists and agnostics somehow have control over whether or not we believe in any particular deity. I don't have faith in a deity and, as far as I am concerned, the "seeking" and "learning" I have been told time and time again by theists to do amounts to nothing more than brainwashing.
So, I could go to a church, talk to other church members frequently or even exclusively, read the Bible with "guidance" from a more-learned theist, stop reading anything with scientific evidence to the contrary, and pray for faith. I could as a result come up with some kind of belief, eventually, that that particular deity exists.
In short, I cannot choose to have faith - I can only choose to allow myself to be brainwashed or not. I'll stick with not being brainwashed. The irony of it is that I've been told I was brainwashed by my parents with my atheist upbringing.
The evidence that faith is a product of brainwashing is everywhere. People almost always inherit faith in whatever their local population already has faith in. Brainwashing is viral and pandemic, except for those who consciously enhance their own immunity to it.
@P Paul - proof of that can readily be seen in all Islamic nations and among America's Religious Right.
@ Michael - You have been born in an Islamic country - your dearly beloved mother will have to choose a name - which one will she choose for you do you think -
Mistah - Instrument to level something.
Moemen - Believer and faithful to Allah
Muballigh - Preacher, one who preaches and propagates Islam.
Neutrality ??? I doubt god is doing anything for "our benefit", where is the evidence that anything he has done (I am assuming he exists here of course) has been of benefit to us ? If there was solid evidence for the existence of god then surely he could be served with a warrant for his arrest on charges of genocide, murder, incitement to religious hatred, willful destruction of property etc etc etc.
I think his silence has a lot more to do with foot shuffuling embarrassment about his past actions than anything else.
Judith vd R.
“Thus it is not a far stretch to humor the notion of something doing these things on an universal level using a vast mainframe beyond reckoning, that is their mind.”
It is quite a stretch Michael. The possibility of some form of Deity is easier to imagine. I just don’t make the claim that I personally know which particular god it could be. It is a notion because there is zero evidence for it.
Color me curious Reg, but is there a Fronkey god?
Check out the color of this Archaeopteryx. Sometimes they act like they are gods but I am the Fronkey farmer, a man outstanding in his own field. At least this picture is evidence for their existence. I once had some baptists convinced that I created them in a lab when I was playing god. I wonder what they will evolve into?? LOL.
Michael - Sorry for the mini hijack.
Michael - not in the least sorry for the mini-hijack --
Reg - guess you're not familiar with the famous Texas Jackalope?
Faith is used in the absence of evidence. IMO evidence-based belief is stronger than and superior to faith-based belief. I say "belief" to avoid confusion. I do not think that faith is a source of knowledge. I do not see any benefit... or any reason for that matter... for a god to keep him/herself cloaked in shadow perpetually. What possible benefit is lack of knowledge? In fact, I would argue that in some cases, faith-based belief can be harmful to an individual and society at large. I have found from personal experience and observation that there may be psychological harm in faith. See my old blog post "Chronic Guilt Disorder" http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/chronic-guilt-disorder-a
Your link collaborates my ascertain that 99.999 % of all religions including Christendom is false.
For all the drama queens and Mardi Gras revelers, you are turning your alleged religion into a lascivious and profane spectacle.
And a wet bird never flies at night.
I'm curious Michael, exactly what are you smoking?