I remember it distinctly: I was hanging out at the swings of my elementary school. In my head was GOD, but I had just heard about evolution, and that was so obvious. Yes, I mean "obvious" because evolution is so basic that it's obvious. And I remembered hearing about Zeus and thinking "yeah, good story..." Then it all made sense. What if all of those stories that I was taught as a kid are just bullshit like the Zeus stories?
What if a giant fish didn't eat a person who lived to talk about it?
What if a snake didn't talk?
What if bushes don't talk and burn at the same time?
Suddenly, I thought, "What if all of that was bullshit?" It's bullshit when Greeks have gods, and Romans, and Indians, and everybody except us. Why are our Gods so much better?
In one flash I became an atheist.
I made the mistake of telling a cousin that I was an atheist. She told her Mom, who told her brothers, who told everybody else in the family. These are people that think God is comin' round next week. I am anathema to them (hah!}. The sixties hippie aunt was now a police officer for God.
So how do you deal with folks who know better than you, and want to save your cholesterol-ridden, fat-ass carcase I have cookies.
I think you over simplify the significance of theism throughout history. Calling it "bullshit" is a bit pretentious, don't you think? Science too is a type of faith; a faith in truth. More precisely it is a faith in the idea that truth both exists and is worth discovering. Who are you to believe that it is real, and that it is something that we should expend energy to pursue? Shall you support your quest for truth with scientific evidence? Know now what it is like to defend theism; to defend what you believe with what you believe. It makes one's head spin, does it not? There is no need for controversy here, this is the era of cosmopolitanism, and any refutation of this idea serves only to decay humanity. Please stop this incessant search for a way to cope with people who think differently from you, and instead find the commonality that for some mysterious reason eludes so many passionate atheists and theists. My advice to you is to stress these points to the people you are having difficulty with, and hopefully to embrace them yourself.
Science is in no way a type of faith. Science is evidence and a way to study the world around us so that we do not have to use faith. To me, faith is a bad word. Faith is anti-knowledge. I have faith in nothing. I do have evidence for the things that I "believe" (whatever "believe" really means). It's the level of confidence based on the strength of the evidence that forms my knowledge of the Universe around me. I got into trouble with my sweetie once when she asked if I had faith in her love for me and I said "No." It took me a long time to get out from that hole, trying to make her understand what I meant - I don't have faith in her love, but I do have lots of evidence for it, which I think is far more important than simple "faith".
When it comes down to it, I feel sorry for folks who base their worldview on faith and religion. They've narrowed the scope of the beauty they can see in the Universe when they filter what they accept as true through their religion. Their false deity trivializes the magnificence of nature.
I would love to live and let live. I don't care if people think differently than I do. What I care about is when they try to shove what THEY believe down my throat. Make no mistake about this - it happens all the time.
I do get your point though. I agree it is good to find commonalities and to transcend the differences. It is difficult always taking the high road. I have found only one Christian, a Carmelite nun with dementia, who didn't launch into conversion mode once she found out I was a nonbeliever. Maybe there are others, but mostly I've encountered people who will not respect what I believe or don't believe.
They tell me I'm wrong, stubborn, sinful, ignorant, and lost, and condescendingly say things like, "God didn't go away from you. You moved away from God." I can smile and nod maybe 9 out of 10 times I hear something like that, but the person who says it the tenth time might hear what I really think about someone treating me that way. It's not pretty.
It's' right about then that the person will say, "How can you be so angry at God if you don't believe in Him?" I am not angry at God. I'm angry at Christians not letting me NOT believe in a god in peace. Yet somehow I am supposed to transcend this, among the myriad other ways Christians disregard who I really am?
I'm going to have to meditate a LOT more to accomplish this. I agree that it would be a good thing. I would be happier not letting these things get to me.
"I think you over simplify the significance of theism throughout history. Calling it "bullshit" is a bit pretentious, don't you think?"
Havign historical significance doesn't mean it can't also be bullshit.
There is a difference B/T faith and trust. I trust science to give me the closest approximation of the truth available at this time.
Faith is the new stupid.
Theism was, is, and forever will be........Bullshit.
True believers are supposed to believe that you must love God and Jesus more than even your parents or your kids according to the bible... To me that should be enough for most to take a step back and ask if they care more about their kids or more about a book and make the easy choice of caring more about the ones who really matter. It's truly sad when this does not happen and somebody chooses the book.
Benny W = Perfect response. Jim Scotti, come on now.. Science not a faith? lol²..
Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with. -Max Planck
Science isn't a faith. Faith isn't anything like defending one's stance on a given scientific issue.
Generally speaking, when we learn something, we test it against our experiences. If the evidence supports what we're told, we believe it. Belief based on evidence and logic, tested in this manner, is not faith. Every commonly accepted theory out there has stood up to strenuous examination; many theories are disproven, but the ones that are most commonly accepted are the most likely to be true, based on the evidence. Even if one believes in such a theory, the scientific-minded person knows that what we know is subject to revision as we discover more evidence. The theories change to fit the evidence, is what I'm saying. Religious arguments often attempt to twist the evidence to fit their perspectives, or ignore it altogether. There are loads of examples of this happening. Also, the more extraordinary the hypothesis, the more convincing evidence is needed to support it. As Carl Sagan used to say, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
That's exactly what we'd need to believe religious claims: really, really extraordinary evidence. There has been no extraordinary evidence, so there's no reason to believe them. What's the word for extraordinary claims that people make without even ordinary evidence? Oh yeah. Bullshit!