I've had thoughts on why many cling on to religion, even after constant debunking and debating. I think I may have a possible reason why some do not give them up.

Most religions all have some system of an afterlife. People practicing the religion believe that, if they follow their specific book and appease to their specific God, they get to go to a magical place where nothing bad happens and they get to live out their wishes and desires that were either impossible in their mortal life, or there life was too short to live it.

When someone suddenly suggests that such a concept does not exist, the believer becomes defensive. Death is a bitter result of life. We dread the day we where we breathe our last breath, or if our life was suddenly cut short. To us, the concept of an after-life is comforting, a God protecting us like a Dad telling his son everything is going to be alright, even though he knows the bitter end is near.

I think, while not the sole reason for many that hold on to their faith, a denial of a mortal death being a permanent death is what keeps them from swallowing the bitter pill of reality that life is not fair, and that shit happens and you may not get to do everything in life or you could drop dead the very next day.

I was born in Mississippi, and raised Baptist, although, my family was mostly lazy Christians who only went to church on around the Holidays. I had the hope as a small child to go to Heaven and be with Angels and no kids there would ever be mean to me again. The thought that I couldn't have any of that would probably have scared me back then.

I came to realize that it's for the best that there is no afterlife. Imagine what exactly you would be doing in an afterlife. As the eternity went on, you would grow tired of the same mundane things. Would you truly want to spend your mortal life appeasing some God, only so you can appease him the rest of your life? I can't think of anything else that would be so...well, boring.

In a way, I feel more confident in this life. It won't be okay if I skip out on opportunities, because I may not get the chance again. This is my one shot, and I don't want to blow it on wishful thinking.


How about you? If you were once religious and now Atheist, how did you overcome the hurdle of accepting there is no afterlife? Or, do you not believe in an afterlife, but in some way, wish/hope there is one? Has any of this changed your perspective on how you live your life than how you lived your life beforehand?

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Too true. It's arbitrary looking for reasons why someone would cling to religion. It would be easier to divide by zero. It's like trying to explain to someone how to look at one of those magic eye pictures so they can see the damned boat (I swear there is no boat, I swear!!!!). It's a way of looking at things that is entirely different. While one better reflects reality than another, that is simply not the perspective the other has.

Oh, so you know you've deconverted theists by offering scientific facts and syllogisms? I doubt it. No theory involved. In practice, theists as a rule don't give up religion because you showed them a fact or made a strong argument.

Who are you replying to, Unseen? The indentation appears to make your post a reply to mine but I haven't said anything that fits your words.

Regardless of who you're replying to, you're essentially calling your target a liar based on "theists as a rule don't give up religion because you showed them a fact or made a strong argument"

If you ARE replying to me, you should be grateful you're not near a dark alley with me.

I was saying that they are impervious to logic (even though they appear to try to use it) and you appeared (correct me if I'm wrong) to be arguing contrary to that.

I'll stay away from dark alleys for a while, and if you attempt to come near me, be forewarned I'm always armed with Silly String.

Okay, you made a brief comment to which I gave a brief reply:

You:

When you argue with a religious person, you are just giving him/her a chance to prove how strong his faith is. Faith is strongest when it stands totally without intellectual support. Don't you get it?!

Me:

That's true in theory, Unseen, but in practice they crave evidence and logic. They'll say the most ridiculous things to give the illusion of evidence or logic. Poor things . . . if only they had one piece of evidence or a single valid argument, they wouldn't have to pretend so much.

And to that, you insultingly replied with:

Oh, so you know you've deconverted theists by offering scientific facts and syllogisms? I doubt it. No theory involved. In practice, theists as a rule don't give up religion because you showed them a fact or made a strong argument.

I let you know I'd love to have you in a dark alley. That was meant to impart to you the offense I took at your hubris. That kind of disrespect would get you bitched-slapped where I come from.

As a matter of fact, I've actually deconverted ONE person, years ago. Not that this has anything to do with anything I've said. It was on Yahoo Groups. I had a group called "Positive Skepticism". One Christian user started off hostile but was treated civilly in return (by me and other members). Over the course of a couple of weeks he sought clarifications of our comments and began responding less defensively and more rationally. Then he disappeared for awhile. Anyway, one day, in a message to the entire group, he said that he realized that we were right and credited, mostly, my best arguments. He ended by asking, "What do I do now?" We all replied to him but he never made another appearance.

This happened early in my online atheist "career", so  I thought I could look forward to more deconversions. But years later it's proven to be the only one (that I know of) so far.

I credit that episode to the group rules I enforced. No name-calling. No threats. Try to be civil. Apologize if you fail. I also had a poem on the home page that went like this . . .

“Grist for the Sophist”
 
If you’re not here to assist
But only someone’s premise, twist
If you are a distortionist
The moderator will get pissed
 
If you insist or can’t resist
Playing bully or chauvinist
Or asinine obstructionist
Then you should be a soloist
 
If that’s the reason you exist
And after warnings, still persist
Despite the slaps across the wrist
You will certainly be dismissed

Why do I owe you any respect or you owe me?

Where I come from, people who get all huffy over being disrespected (as they perceive it) are regarded as insecure and as having self-esteem issues.

It is what it is.

Oh, so you know you've deconverted theists by offering scientific facts and syllogisms? I doubt it.

Not letting disrespect go unanswered is normal self-respect.

"Turning the other cheek is a sign of weakness" eh? That's the attitude of the gangbangster. Welcome to their club.

I'm an ex-Christian. I've tried the whole "Turn the other cheek" bullshit. Turning the other cheek just leaves a metallic taste in my mouth.

I've replaced that platitude with an attitude: Don't take crap from ANYBODY.

Atheist Exile - I agree with you.  Disrespect is disrespect, a deliberate insult.  If you let it go, their insult has succeeded.  As for "crap", most of the time I prefer to let it go. 

I like your de-conversion story, it's Christian in the best sense.  Not that I'm into de-converting people - just trying to make them better Christians or Moslems or however they want to do it. 

LOL   "English, motherfucker, do you speak it?"

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