Alright, so a couple of days ago I was talking to a friend of mine in class. And we began to talk about religion. Now I'm far from the kind of person that likes to showcase my views on things, But I told him I was an Atheist. He Actually didn't believe me at first, and said that people have to take a oath to become an atheist. We literally argued about this for 5 whole minutes before I finally said lets go to an computer and get google the definition. after I showed him what atheism actually is, He still retained doubt. I just said forget it, and ended the conversation on it there.
What I'm asking is how long will people remain that ignorant on atheism. It's not like he's dumb when it comes to other topics. He says He's a christian and he never even read the bible. And when I told him and another friend I read it They Laughed. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention one of the guys laughing has a tattoo that says "blessed" on his chest. And he never read the bible. That's just stupid to me, But I kinda want to know what other people think about this.
I have to strongly disagree. Belief in the supernatural is not solely a consequence of lack of information. Non-rational human psychology has a great deal to do with belief in the supernatural. This is why Harvard Divinity professors - who are extremely well-educated and well-informed, and who know the Bible inside and out - still believe in supernatural forces. A/theism has more to do with core cognitive modes - how one processes and prioritizes information, how one integrates emotions into this processing, and so forth - than with exposure to data (although the latter has an effect).
A good friend of mine has a Ph.D. in microbiology, is outstanding in his field, and knows much more about evolutionary theory and genetics than I do. He knows that humans evolved due to natural processes, that the universe is 10-12 billion years old, and so forth. But he still believes that, after he dies, his consciousness will continue. This is not a religious belief - it's an emotional crutch that he uses to deal with death. Ignorance has nothing to do with his belief in the supernatural - it's rooted in the way he processes his data and integrates his emotional needs and biases.
Yes, but Mark Twain DID comment that reading the bible was the best cure for Xianity. :-) .It did cure me 68 years ago, from Catholicism. Although I did question bible stories as a child, the usual ones, it was actually reading the book that terminated my belief in the whole thing.
I would argue that that's because your cognitive mode naturally allows atheism. In other words: some people's brains are wired for rational skepticism and some aren't; a rational skeptic reading the Bible will be pushed towards atheism, and the other kind of brain won't be. Careful consideration of the Bible won't push you towards atheism unless your brain is wired in that direction anyway ... There are many, many preachers who know the Bible in great detail, and are unfazed by its inconsistencies and absurdities.
True Tom. I am a bit skeptical by nature on most things. I should have moved to Missouri - the 'show me' state'.
I see it as the 'shoe box problem'. How many types of shoe boxes are there? What happens when the lid is lose or falls off? Can you see other shoe boxes around you when your local shoe box loses its lid? Can you crawl out of your shoe box? Can you converse with 'people' in another shoe box? Is your show box 'safe', or do you feel under threat? How did your shoe box lid fall off? Do other people in another shoe box talk loudly or make lots of noise? How porous is your shoe box?
See it is about closed VS open systems. If you can get any new inputs things can change, but change can be optional.
I completely agree. I debate with Christians all the time and they never listen to reason. But I guess if reason worked with religious people. There will be no more religious people.
It is unnerving as an Atheist to have to deal with Christians with such limited knowledge about there own belief system let alone having them explain my beliefs to me. They take that limited knowledge and make themselves look like fools and it is just plain frighting.
How long will they continue to do this? I wish I knew.
Why would they want to know? Why risk their belief just to find out a disturbing truth. Religion will always be with us.
Kristal, I enjoy xians making themselves look like fools, especially:
1. when they do it themselves without my help, or
2.when they don't know they are doing it.
To those who insist on doing their praying in public, I remind them that Matthew in 6,6 tells them to pray in closets after they have closed the closet doors.
Religion will be with us as long as their leaders, instead of helping them deal with their fear, use it to manipulate them. Their leaders become wealthy and they, the fearful xians, remain poor.
You'll understand atheism, like any other "ism", only if it's relevant to you. Otherwise why bother? Ask Americans what Communism is and you'll get a lot of wacky answers. If you're not an atheist and don't know any, why would you care about understanding it?
Thank you, Noble9, for the shot of reality you added to this discussion's wishful thinking.
Human minds did not evolve to be logical machines - cognitive bias is deeply embedded in the way humans think. Belief in supernatural forces is, oddly, natural for humans; hence the need for a Scientific Method which helps us avoid cognitive bias.
So: People will always believe in the supernatural. Some people's minds are more "susceptible" to supernatural thought than others - hence some people tend towards atheism more easily than others. However, education can push people towards more-rational thinking: Europe has a much higher % of agnostics and atheists than the U.S., and I suspect it's due to 1.) higher-quality, more-accessible public education, and 2.) cross-fertilization among diverse cultures (on a continent where most people speak multiple languages and it's easy to explore other nations and perspectives).