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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Gallup - I've answered lots of things - 

You've posted responses, but not a substantive, specific answer to the question. How is religion a "need"? What is impossible without religion? Answer the question. Be specific.

You cant admit it thats all.

Link to it to the specific answer that you've provided. Show me what I'm not admitting to.

You can't, because it hasn't happened. You posted one bit of ridiculous nonsense after another ('Catholics need to be Catholics!'), then ignored rather than addressed the points I raised which refuted them.

Anyway - below is a list of non-religious wars.

Which, even if it were true, refutes your assertion that religion is a "need". The nations and millions who fought those wars fought them despite being overwhelmingly religious. Religion is useless as a preventative for war, so there is no need for it. Likewise, the wars still could have been fought even if the participants weren't religious, so again, there is no need for religion.

In the case of religious wars-- for which religion, by the blogger's own admission, really was the cause-- if there had been no religion then the wars never would have been fought.

There is no symmetry here. Being "non-religious" doesn't cause war any more than non-belief in cold fusion or unicorns. But religious warfare is religious in that religion causes it.

 

@Gallup - 'Show me where faith in God is a 'need'.

There are 1,3 Billion Catholics in the world today and thats not even counting all of the monotheists. Theres the need.

Ok - Im doing alright with your questions hey ...

2 down 1 to go ...

Gallup - 'Show me where faith in God is a 'need'.

Stole Jesus: There are 1,3 Billion Catholics in the world today and thats not even counting all of the monotheists. Theres the need.

No, that's just more ignorance, wilful or otherwise, this time it's ignorance of what constitutes a 'need'.

A need is something that is necessary, that cannot be done without. Needs are distinguished from wants because a deficiency would cause dysfunction or death.

A gasoline engine needs gasoline. A human needs water. An electronic computer needs electricity. A fish does not need a bicycle. A junkie does not need heroin.

The world's 1.3 billion Catholics could live their lives without it. Catholicism is not a need.

Ok - Im doing alright with your questions hey ... 2 down 1 to go ...

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

If Catholics 'leave' the church, is it still a 'need'?

 

@Gallup - For instance, the major discoveries and accomplishments of science in the last 50 years alone-- from the Apollo moon landings, to lifesaving medical treatments, to the microcomputer-- could not easily be counted. What are the major discoveries and accomplishments of religion in the last 50 years? Or the last 100? Or the last 200? Can you name even a single example? When has God or the supernatural ever turned out to be the required explanation for anything?

I dont think thats religions field - religion goes to the other frontier - the mind - the mental, thats why religion is so mental, Its not about astrophysics, Theres no competion there I dont think.

I dont think [discoveries and accomplishments are] religions field - religion goes to the other frontier - the mind - the mental, thats why religion is so mental, Its not about astrophysics,

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. 

Theres no competion there I dont think.

Yeah, I know.

Man, I hope my secular funeral will be like someone's 21st birthday party!

 

"Man, I hope my secular funeral will be like someone's 21st birthday party!"

I wish there was a Like button here.

@Sagacious Hawk

I saw 'Live and Let Die' when i was young and never forgot this funeral scene.  I have always wanted one like it!   (clip is 2 minutes long)

When well known New Orleans musicians die, the main band and mourners in the funeral march are called the "first line". The "second line" are just people or other musicians who dig the music and follow along at a respectable distance.

Cant embed this, but some of the best horn players in the world..

2nd Line

Brilliant!  Thanks, RobertPiano!

Indeed! Just chop me up, recycle as much as possible, use the rest for fuel, and give me a funeral/party like that! (Hmmm, I hope belief in heaven's not a prerequisite?)

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