Time to introduce myself. I've been prowling around this site for a few months and have finally added a pic. He is Colonel Thomas Blood, a supposedly distant relative of mine and 1st class scoundrel. I use his name, as mine is sufficiently unusual to show up on a Google search. I am a nurse, and health care is rampant with xians. I am also an ordained clergy person and - well things are just a bit complicated right now. Folks who I don't want in the know, will not come snooping here on their own.

Enough intro: Here is the morsel for you to chew on. I have heard it expressed explicitly at least once, and implied by several of you that if one is an atheist, the is NO WAY that you could ever become sufficiently delusional to believe in a god. Well I was. Or did.

I grew up with a believing mother and an atheist father. We never went to church and my religious training was minimal (one year of a generic protestant Sunday school). I was atheist by age 15. I was always fascinated by xians however, especially the really confident kind. Long story short; over several years I developed and pursued the hypothesis that the only way I could be sure that there was no god was to diligently seek him. This led me on multiple pathways until I wound up in a fundamentalist country church one night where I was invited to "come to Jesus" Multiple threads in my life had brought me to the place where I was able to suspend my skepticism enough to accept the possibility of this being real. When I stood up, the world changed. The event and my theories about would take another blog.

The result of this "encounter " was that I became a fundamentalist xian .  My lack of religious upbringing actually worked against me as I had no framework for my new life, only that "reason" had failed as method for finding the TRUTH.  Over the course of decades my inquiring mind kept pushing me into ever more "liberal" understandings of God until I finally realized that my theology had become "Jesus as metaphor" and that I no longer needed the metaphor.

So here I am, full circle again. The experience has not been a complete waste of my life (Thank GOD!!!). I have a very full, hands on type of understanding of religious faith and have first hand knowledge of many of the different flavors of belief. I find many of you off-putting. You can be so bloody sanctimonious sometimes, as if all people of faith were idiots. I am sure I actually had more IQ points when I was religious than I do how. But I DO understand how you feel. I sometimes have to stop myself from thinking "How can anyone BELIEVE that crap?" when it was not so long ago that I did in fact believe it myself.

I've rattled on long enough. Have at it!

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"Understanding the need for religion is a far superior goal to bashing it."
Frans de Waal
 
I think thats really refreshing and so much more interesting than 'why wont god heal amputees?"
"Understanding the need for religion is a far superior goal to bashing it."
Frans de Waal
 
I think thats really refreshing and so much more interesting than 'why wont god heal amputees?"
I'm eager to hear an explanation for either one, although I won't hold my breath while I wait.
Since you favor the former, and I've expressed a profound interest in understanding the "need for religion" claim, I'm asking you yet again: what about religion is essential? What legitimate purpose cannot be accomplished without it?
@Gallup - "What legitimate purpose cannot be accomplished without it?"

Maybe psychology cannot be accomplished without it ...

@Gallup - "[...I've expressed a profound interest in understanding the "need for religion" claim, I'm asking you yet again: what about religion is essential?] What legitimate purpose cannot be accomplished without it?"
Maybe psychology cannot be accomplished without it...

So psychology-- the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors-- cannot be accomplished without religion.

*Cue laugh track*

"I have heard it expressed explicitly at least once, and implied by several of you that if one is an atheist, the is NO WAY that you could ever become sufficiently delusional to believe in a god."

Well, by ALL means, since you heard it at LEAST once, it must be true that ALL atheists ALWAYS think this of EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME.

MORON.

 

@Jack - I believe that statement and lots of atheists say it.

I think that the only way an atheist could start really believing in a kind of OT God is if he developed schizophrenia or Alzeimers or something.  Like Anthony Flew did.

@Jack Pathwhaes

You seem to be struggling to make your points on these threads without name-calling.  Other than the fact that it contravenes the Think Atheist Guidelines, it also has the unfortunate effect of diminishing the substance of your posts.  Just an observation :)

Thank you. I was wondering how to respond to his post. I couldn't have said it better.

@Gallup - "Where did I exclude any subjects? Take your pick; cognitive science, human intelligence, behavior, perception, linguistics, memory, reasoning, emotion, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and anthropology. It's all on the table."

Half the world of people who are suffering find it difficult or impossible to access that stuff Gallup and reading about the progress of artificial intelligence is useless to them.
Science has only begun to understand PTSD very recently - yet religion has offered the remedy for it for thousands of years.
Science deals with one realm and religion deals with another. Both equally important. There should be no competition.

Gallup: "Where did I exclude any subjects? Take your pick; cognitive science, human intelligence, behavior, perception, linguistics, memory, reasoning, emotion, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and anthropology. It's all on the table [as fields, among any other, in which I invite you to name one example of a discovery or accomplishment of religion in the last 200 years]."

Stole Jesus: Half the world of people who are suffering find it difficult or impossible to access that stuff Gallup and reading about the progress of artificial intelligence is useless to them.

So you have no examples. Not a single one.

Science has only begun to understand PTSD very recently - yet religion has offered the remedy for it for thousands of years.

Name the remedy. Explain it. Be specific.

Science deals with one realm and religion deals with another. Both equally important. There should be no competition.

Yes, Stole Jesus. That's your schtick. You issue content-free proclamations without any supporting argument, reasoning, evidence, or examples to back them up.

Science stands atop a towering mountain of evidence, reason, discovery, and achievement, which would take a lifetime just to count them. Take away science and they would have been impossible.

Meanwhile, you fumble, dodge, and struggle to name a single counterpart for religion, then proclaim that it's a draw.

Thus Gallup, by not presenting any argument, I have established that magical leprechauns and science both have equally important roles in human history. There should be no competition. They are in different realms.

@Gallup

"Actually, you're failing quite miserably. Two up, two to go."

LOL - see, I think you only throw comments like that in to defelect that it is really you who is failing. ; )

 

Gallup: "Actually, you're failing quite miserably. Two up, two to go."

Stole Jesus: LOL - see, I think you only throw comments like that in to defelect that it is really you who is failing. ; )

No, that's you, whistling past the graveyard.

Failure means 'the condition or fact of not achieving the desired end'. In this case the desired end is supporting your claim that religion is a need. This, after I've invited you-- again and again and again and again and again-- to illustrate this "need" for religion.

So far, you've posted various forms of intellectual dishonesty; the false assertion that Catholics "need" to be Catholic, effectively denying that religious Sharia law requires stoning, in addition to substantially ignoring virtually every point I've made to these effects along the way. But little else.

If you've actually succeeded at providing a supporting argument, then reply and link to it here. Show me. Let's see it. You can't, because it has not happened.

The entertainment value of this is compounded with your bizarre reversal of what you think our respective roles mean, and that I actually get to walk you through it now. You see, Stole-J, your repeated inability to support your point means you've failed, and my repeated ability to demonstrate this means I've succeeded.

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