Author Topic: Religion is declining in the US  (Read 704 times)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2017, 08:50:01 PM »
A stawman invented by stupid theologians, and exploited by stupid materialists.
Oh Wise One; Sage of the Ages--what is you (or the real) definition of what a miracle is.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2017, 08:52:47 PM »
I have not been an atheist all of my life.  I have been skeptical--but at times open to 'miracles'--none came forth.  I have come to understand that a theist insists that a miracle is other-wordly;  there is no other world.  And no miracles.  All that happens has a rational reason; and if we don't know what that is right now does not mean we won't learn.

Carl Jung was disappointed as a boy, when nothing happened at first communion.  Something did happen at mine, but in retrospect ... meh.  I did experience what Karl Otto called ... the numinous.  But that just made me curious about religion, it didn't make a Christian of me.  It is all psychology ... and if you don't like psychology, then you are all mad ;-)
שלום

Offline Cavebear

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2017, 03:05:08 AM »
People also often fall out of organized religion once their children are grown.

That was an unusually thoughtful and non-joking post.  Thank you.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Cavebear

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2017, 03:16:04 AM »
Your definition presupposes atheism ... so it is a circular argument.  Signs ... weren't the miracles as defined by Enlightenment wags.  Do you know, in Hebrew, that a "letter" is a sign ... something divine?  Hence not incredible that the Muslims define the whole Quran, which has many letters, as a great miracle.

And myths are always symbolic, not to be understood literally.  But clergy and their enemies ... make hay.

Actually, atheism precedes theism.  There was surely a time before the ideas of the vaguest theism came to imagination of some poor misbegotten desperate fool. 

Once, there was no imagined deities.   Then some poor confused sap saw a fire destroy his tent or some meteorite wreck something and conjured up the idea of "other beings".  Invisible, powerful, unstoppable.

If I had a time machine, I would go back and kill that idiot!
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2017, 12:18:03 PM »
Actually, atheism precedes theism.  There was surely a time before the ideas of the vaguest theism came to imagination of some poor misbegotten desperate fool. 

Once, there was no imagined deities.   Then some poor confused sap saw a fire destroy his tent or some meteorite wreck something and conjured up the idea of "other beings".  Invisible, powerful, unstoppable.

If I had a time machine, I would go back and kill that idiot!
As I imagine it, the sun itself would provide all the wonder and awe one would need to construct a god around it.  And that god could then supply answers to all of their 'why' questions.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 01:06:36 PM by Mike Cl »
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2017, 12:32:50 PM »
As I imagine it, the sun itself would provide all the wonder and awe one would need to construct a god around it.  And that god could then supply answers to all of there 'why' questions.
I will always remember that preacher I saw on TV, who was trying to reconcile science and religion, while making a case for each.  He orated with a magnanimously affected air: "Science can answer the 'How' questions, bur religion answers the 'Why' questions."  I wasn't all that familiar with logic at the time, but I remember thinking, "Yeah, it may explain why, but the answers sound like they are pulled out of thin air."  And I called myself a believer at the time.  I felt unsatisfied but just shrugged it off.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2017, 12:41:59 PM »
As I imagine it, the sun itself would provide all the wonder and awe one would need to construct a god around it.  And that god could then supply answers to all of there 'why' questions.

So, the argument is that frightened people started religions?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2017, 12:45:25 PM »
Bullshiters sitting around camel-dung campfires started religions.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2017, 12:51:06 PM »
So, the argument is that frightened people started religions?
Yes.  And they use that fear to this very day to control the sheeple.  I can imagine that the entire world amazed and frightened the first humans.  They controlled very little of what was around them and deep fear of the unknown must have been their constant companion.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Cavebear

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2017, 12:52:58 PM »
Bullshiters sitting around camel-dung campfires started religions.

Well, where camels lived, yes.  Or even where they didn't.  One group could import camel dung as "the magic"...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2017, 12:55:05 PM »
Well, where camels lived, yes.  Or even where they didn't.  One group could import camel dung as "the magic"...
In the US it bison-dung. The Middle East had camel. "A dung fire by any other name would smell as sweet..."
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2017, 12:55:46 PM »
Possibly well meaning bull shitters, but none that knew what they were talking about.  Which is pretty much the definition of bull shitting.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2017, 12:56:01 PM »
Yes.  And they use that fear to this very day to control the sheeple.  I can imagine that the entire world amazed and frightened the first humans.  They controlled very little of what was around them and deep fear of the unknown must have been their constant companion.

And we figured out how stuff works...  I'm not trying to push you.  Just saying that religion is the catch-all of the unknown.  And we keep eliminating "the unknown".  And have from the first sharpened flake.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Online Hydra009 (OP)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2017, 12:56:27 PM »
Actually, atheism precedes theism.  There was surely a time before the ideas of the vaguest theism came to imagination of some poor misbegotten desperate fool. 

Once, there was no imagined deities.   Then some poor confused sap saw a fire destroy his tent or some meteorite wreck something and conjured up the idea of "other beings".  Invisible, powerful, unstoppable.

If I had a time machine, I would go back and kill that idiot!
There would just be another one shortly after.

Also, I'm not entirely sure it was a completely foolish idea at the time.  (Extra emphasis on at the time, lest someone misinterpret me and conclude that I think religion is currently a rational idea)

At the time, people knew next to nothing about nature.  Strange, unexpected things must've really freaked them out.  Stuff like lightning, wildfires, earthquakes, epidemics, floods, and eclipses must've seemed daunting and unpredictable.  So they tried to understand these things as if they were people - volcanoes erupt because the volcano god is angry, etc.  They tried to cut deals with these fledgling gods by offering sacrifices - like sacrificing a bull to appease Neptune.  You can see a shadow of this mentality alive today with gamblers and "lucky" dice, where dice are said to hate or love the roller.

It goes without saying that this doesn't actually work, but it was the first fumbling attempt to understand what was going on, and people might've used it to divine some patterns in nature (the storm god in North Carolina is angriest in autumn).  So it might've brought some measure of understanding and/or solace to early people who didn't have access to much actual information.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2017, 12:57:53 PM »
In the US it bison-dung. The Middle East had camel. "A dung fire by any other name would smell as sweet..."

Except camel-dung would be more HUGE and Whartonish...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950