Should An Athiest Even Try to Believe? Rumor Warns Smebro of 90% of Earths Population Going to Hell! Consider Yourself Warned. Do You Understand?!?!?!?

 

Disclaimer:  Smebro's response was typed on a tired Sunday night; he admits his tone might have been too confrontational. If you believe that religious people should be left to their own devices then you will find nothing of interest here except a heated atheist and doomsayer Christian battling each other in the eternal struggle of opinion and belief.

Furthermore, Smebro has the advantage here; RuMoR posted each of their blocks as one full message in my previous story of the same experience. Smebro is able to comprehensively reply; RuMoR was stating an opinion and was not arguing against any of smebro’s points in particular.

I hope that RuMoR will return and reply, if not I welcome any comments from both sides of the belief spectrum. Critical or otherwise.

Let the beliefs begin!

RuMoR said: All I want to say is.. I can't believe how passionate you are about NOT believing..

 if you put half the effort you just put into this post as you did actually having some "faith" you might understand what those of us who believe do. Let me remind you that faith, god, death, judgment day is not for everyone to understand, but one, you. I don't mean you particularly, I just mean you and you alone chose whether or not you want to believe or have faith, it's not for you to decide if "I" believe or have faith. Even an AA member understands this.. "God as you have come to understand him" It's a "personal relationship" a "personal experience" I'm sure my perception of God is not exactly like anyone else's, but I do know that the experience I had has happened to many others, explain that.. are we all freaks of nature, science...? I use to go to church faithfully (no pun intended) till I was 13 or so, always heard the bible stories, listened to the pastor... never actually knew God personally. My mother told me one time that God told her not to marry my step father.. she did anyway, I'm sure that's one mistake she regrets, I know I do. God told me to leave my now ex-girlfriend, I didn't listen, I should have.

 

Smebro responds: Hi Rumor, glad to make your acquaintance. I’ll reply in a block by block basis as that is most comfortable for me. I look forward to this exercise, don’t we all want to know why we do things.

Firstly, I am as passionate about not having blind faith as you are about not being Muslim or doing witchcraft. So we both share a few common disbeliefs. So as I have said in other places, how could we say we are putting effort into faith, when we would have to try every one to be sure if any of them seemed plausible. I am not expending all this effort as an exercise of disbelief, more an inquisition into why people are capable of holding such beliefs so dear without question. I am doing this as much for myself as I am for anyone else. And all I can hope to achieve through this medium is thought. That some people might consider the things I say, and question their own reasons for believing what they do. I encourage questions, I want to know why I should be more inclined to choose your particular ‘faith’ over others. See, I don’t know what you believe, but I am as skeptical with you as I am with anyone that believes something extraordinary based on anecdotal evidence. Especially when the earth is full of people proclaiming so many different versions of the truth. I take solace in the science that I can see the effects of, and in the possibility of truths to come with our thirst for the knowledge that puts us here.

As for judgment day, well, your religion certainly is no the first to play that card. How many prophesized judgment days have already passed? It seems we people like the control that the promise of imminent death brings, especially if we are able to imagine an afterlife. That’s just an observation.

Do you understand the judgment days of the other religions? What if you’ve got it wrong and one of theirs comes first?

And I’m not deciding if you have faith or not. That’s up to you. How could I convince you to believe something with no evidence, you need to do that yourself. Self hypnosis might help. Prayer is a form of that.

Okay… So you say that god is personal, that’s got to be true, especially when you need to have ‘faith’, faith cannot come from evidence, therefore you need to really trick yourself into believing, or be lulled into the comfortable mindset through upbringing. So god must be personal. Therefore, I have never felt god, so I have not tried to trick myself. In the past I’ve tricked myself of other things, and found the experience rewarding, but I’m not interested in trying to believe something with ‘faith’ anymore. I could, if I wanted to, but why bother. Surely any true religion would be obvious to someone who had never researched it. Otherwise this realm would be nothing but a study room.

As for explaining how god spoke to you, only a psychologist could explain it clearly. You know how you will sometimes see a face in tree-leaves, or a shape in the shadows, that’s kind of what seeing god is like. It’s one of our minds tricks, aided by a belief that required extreme concentration to maintain.

How did God tell your mother what he did? How did god speak to you?

As for ‘are we all freaks of nature/science?’ the answer in short is; if you believe that, then its pretty sad. I think we’re the best things in this part of the universe, and count myself lucky for that every day. Would it make your life seem sad if you believed in evolution? Not me, I can be happy without imagining a grander purpose and I’m pretty sure most people can be. My purpose is me and my species in the world I know through experience.

 

 

RuMoR said: I think the problem with God or the devil is that people are expecting a "man" something tangible, something they can explain with their simple little minds.. that's the problem, God isn't comprehendable by our feeble little minds, science tells us that we use an avg of what.. 7% of our brains capacity.. and God made us.. what does that tell you? Please don't tell me you think you know it all.. I use to think I knew a lot, certainly not all. "I'm a pretty smart guy" I use to say. STOP THE BUS.. The minute you have to say that, ask yourself this.. who are you trying to convince? A smart person knows they are, they don't need to remind themselves, or others for that matter.

 

Smebro responds:  I agree, people shouldn’t even try and imagine a being pulling the strings, there’s no good reason to think that. I disagree with your assessment of human minds as ‘feeble’ or ‘little’. Have you seen an example of a grander or more magnificent mind? What are you comparing us too? An imaginary super computer?

Okay, so you have used a reference to (Incorrect) science, I won’t bother explaining what the truth of your high-school trivia miss-remembered fact is. But how nice of you to embrace science, I’m sure if you believe the scientists about that much, you must believe them about things like evolution and the big-bang theory…or do you choose to imagine those as lies? For what reason do you believe the previous ‘fact’ and not the latter? Have you researched neurological science personally and so have reason to believe that more then physics or biology?

‘…and god made us.. what does that tell you?’

It tells me that you began this conversation under the pretense that there is a god looking over your shoulder, and that everything you say is colored by this belief.

Okay I will not tell you I know it all, I will say I have a thirst for knowledge, I like asking questions and asking big questions even if it is only for the thought. I love to ponder, analysis, how could I know it all? Lol, we might never know it all, but look where trying has gotten us. I’m pretty glad the scientists figured out how to make my microwave, and my TV, and my XBOX…

Do you use things that have been made with science? Do you believe the sciences behind those appliances? Do you choose to believe those sciences and not others? Why?

Stopping the bus, getting off, looking around and… Hang on, here I am looking at you. You who come here telling me I should believe something based on absolutely no evidence at all, you who presumes yourself to be right through personal experience. It seems to me that you assume yourself a lot smarter than I do me. I come here welcome a universe of infinite possibilities, you come here imagining the only truth as possible, and being completely inflexible to questioning that for even a few moments. What if a muslim came up to you and argued that you are the true fool, and that for ignoring Allah you will pay? How can you be sure you are right and he is wrong?

I’m sorry if I offended you by claiming that I have some intelligence. I suppose I do not fit your definition of a ‘smart person’. And I think I can live with that.

 

RuMoR said: I want you to try to wrap your mind around something for me if you will.. try to image God being the father waiting on his favorite chair, already paid for your schooling, already paid for your house... already paid for your future.. and there he is sitting there, just waiting for you to say, "Father, I love you." Now imagine the Devil, same chair.. "Come here son and tell me you love me, and I will give you the world" When you understand the difference there, come talk to me, otherwise, I will leave you with this. As I said, most people want something tangible, proof.. well if I had to explain God, or the devil.. God is all that is good, and the devil is all that is bad. God is the voice in your head saying, "You will feel better about yourself helping that elderly lady up the stairs with her groceries", where the devil is the one saying, "Go ahead, take the elderly ladies purse while she's not looking, no one will see you"

 

Smebro responds: Okay, wrapping mind. Which means imagining…right? Like Barny used to say, ‘Imagine’…okay lets do this.

God as a man on a chair, gosh that seems like a bit of a contradiction to what you said earlier about people imagining him as a man…oh, right, we’re imagining here…okay, so he’s like a father, who has paid for everything (And I’m wondering how that comes into this, so far as I’ve seen you’re god does nothing here in the universe)…okay so he’s waiting for me to say ‘I love you’ and I’m looking around wondering who to choose, and why…if they are so powerful, they cannot just say ‘Hi’ and indicate a truth. Seems like they must be pretty wicked if they would send a child that had never spoken to hell just because they did not say ‘I love you’ or even know about the ‘true god’. Pretty wicked indeed, but don’t worry, the truth becomes clearer when you consider this god to be what he really is Imaginary. That’s why he doesn’t say ‘hi there, this is the truth’…he doesn’t say it, because he is imaginary.

As for your version of the devil. I understand, you are making some implication that greed (And perhaps even a thirst for knowledge?) is the devils work. Sorry mate, doesn’t float with me. The world is obviously not black and white, good vs. bad, so why should any imaginary afterlife be?…perhaps that way of thinking is comforting to you… I don’t know.

As for god and the devils voices. I’m certain that I am in total control of my inner-monologue, there’s no voices whispering to me. I’m a good person without needing to believe there are external watchers. I do kind and generous acts every day, and I am not a wicked ‘sinner’, belief in a deity is irrelevant to being a good person. Do you agree? Or do you assume I’m still going to h3ll? Likely the latter.

Have you ever had a voice telling you to steal an elderly woman’s purse? I doubt many people would answer yes. I certainly never had.

 

 

RuMoR said: Just remember how this started, judgment day comes for all of us, and you stand alone, you think the judge is going to ask you if you have done anything wrong, or already know the wrong in your heart? Again, I commend you on your passion, too bad it's in the wrong direction. I am not religious, not one bit, but I believe in God with my whole heart. In fact, my bible tells me that 90% of all congregations are hypocrites, I agree. Please don't take anything I said as a personal attack, I am just adding my two cents. You are certainly not the only atheist I know. Here's a strange little fact. As my bible says, 90% of all congregations are hypocrites, is that to say that 905 of our population is going to ****? Interesting. Take care of yourself, perhaps you should read, "the Secret" or "I'll see it when I believe it" they really made me change my perception of things.. even after my eyes were already opened to God.

 

Smebro responds: Ah, the grand finale! And in the true spirit of your faith how grand it is! Full of amazing announcements and self assurance. I hope I haven’t scared you off from furthering this exchange.

So you believe in the judgment day, nice for you. You are not religious yet you have your own imagined version of things. You have the minority view, not me. Don’t you think there are people in India right now talking about judgment days? In Iraq, In Africa? Get over the whole judgment thing, yours is not the only religion that has gone on about the ‘end’ and why do you imagine this end to come? Because of texts thousands of years old. Your bible tells you that does it? I wonder what the Koran tells its believers to think…it certainly doesn’t seem to be working out for them at the moment…or is that because of what your bible tells you? Anyway, seems like a lot of old stories strewn together with some pretty sickening themes. Keep that, I get my sickening themes from horror.

You agree with your bible? Nice for you, I’m betting other people agree with their imaginings too.

As for what your bible says about people going to hell. How nice that you get to imagine a big fat end of the world where all your personal enemies get what they deserve, I’m sure that makes your world a little rosier. There’s an example of a benefit gained by convincing oneself of a deity, you can imagine mass revenge. The sad thing is, the end has always been said to be near, so why should you be right now?

As for the interesting thing about 90% of your population going to hell, well, I think your beliefs are as bad as a suicide bombers in that regard. You’re just waiting for all the people you know to burn aren’t you? That’s pretty sick, seems like you’re pretty much ready to kill those people now. Oh, that’s right, it isn’t your fault, your god decides who gets what…Sure sounds like your gods a bit of a bast*rd, but hey! When you can pick and choose your beliefs like candy for the mind, why not paint him as a real big mean dude, a dictator even.

The only interesting thing about that are your sick expectations for the future. One of the obvious reasons that religious people are such a hindrance to societal development, how can the earth grow if people like you are expecting the end, and are convincing yourself that out of billions, you must be right. We need to stop

children growing up with this pattern of thought, let them look for god in adulthood. At least by then they might have learnt how to properly analyze facts and beliefs.

So I will not be reading those books anytime soon, I’m sure I could find similar drivel online, on some Christian website, but why bother? I may as well read on any other religion that is believed by many, I may as well recommend some atheist book such as ‘the god delusion’, but I know you wouldn’t read it, because you are probably still of the mind that I am going to hell and you are going to heaven. And as long as you can convince yourself of that, I can question why.

smebro smebro
22-25, M
10 Responses Jul 15, 2007

hell doesnt exist so please if you want to believe in god and all that supposably comes with him then that is your right and your choice and nobody should judge you for that just as it is somebodys right not to believe and that is their choice and they shouldnt be judged for that.So please stop trying to force your religion on people.<br />
<br />
This is how i personally view it <br />
Im a toal atheist I dont believe in god or anything with any sort of conection with religion,when i die if i do end up in front of the pearly gates and god then im sure i will be very appoligetic for not believing,,,,,,but until then I'l take my chances,This is what you need to consider you could be wrong and religion and god could just be a big phoney a means for people to blame when things arent going to well prehaps........and if that turns out to be the truth imagine how daft you'll end up feeling!

Sorry I missed your comment Godlover. <br />
Yes it's true, many of the facts in times gone by have been debunked as the guesses they were...and that these days many of our close held scientific theories might fall flat within the next ten years, but this does not detract from the fact that science is the one force that works honestly towards an accurate evaluation of reality. If reality includes invisible dimensions with supernatural beings that do not require explanation, then we are yet to find any suggestion of this except in the minds of men, which cannot be tested. <br />
Plus, there is the obvious truth that we are living in what is so-far Man-kinds greatest years. We finally have a semi-accurate view of the world, a view that is accurate enough to create the most remarkable technologies. <br />
I understand your view of mathematics, I do not like mathematics… But I like quantum Theory, and there are observable aspects of this that I stop to examine in my daily life. I imagine the electrons passing through the slit, I examine the edge of shadows to see where the photons are impacting in a blur, I imagine light and sound and waves. I see ripples on the water and imagine what effects that simple ripple would have further down the line…<br />
And other sciences, such as biology, well I could spend years in a jungle, examining the variety of life and visualising possible evolutionary paths these organisms took to reach their present form, and what future changes they might take. Evolution is probably the most beautiful science there is, for it’s complexity continues to stump even the best scientists, which can also be said of quantum theory…which could probably be said of every science.<br />
<br />
I have been accused in the past of thinking I have all the answers, which I undoubtedly do not. But I am not afraid to test what I do and don’t know, I am eager to push my knowledge as far as it can go, to understand the complex nature of things as best I can. I will do my best to embrace the shifting facts that humanities observations of reality provide, for in these changes and possibilities I find my truths.

Interesting conversation! Gee, I see the July dates and hope you guys haven't given up the discussion yet. I wanted to share just a few of my thoughts and hope someone will respond.<br />
Just to respond to a couple of things you said Smebro.You say we should give science the "respect it deserves for its legitimacy". I once argued with a friend in college that most of the sciences find themselves base on mathematics and most of the mathematical systems I know of always start out with postulates, which as I understand it are asumptions of truth (faith?).If this is true are not these sciences base on as flimsy a foundation as most religions. The other aspect we need to look at is that some sciences themselves admit that when we observe scientific experiments there is at least a possibility that our very observations affect the outcome of the experiment and perhaps that colors our interpretation of the results (and the "truths" we derive from these experiments).<br />
The other comment I'd like to address is: "Religion,sheesh,nothing good comes from it that can't come from reality ". This seems to assume that the reality you refer to is the ob<x>jective universe that we can observe,measure and quantify by scientific means. I'm not sure what you mean by reality,really. Our history of science shows that many of the things we take for granted today were considered "myths or superstition" yesterday because we did not have the instruments to detect them. I would guess that the possibility could exist that we have not exhausted our discovery of things we know nothing about yet,including scientific proof of a God! Just a thought to think about.<br />
And another thing is that many of the advances we see in the world today are a result of pioneers of religion also being pioneers of science. So it would really be a falicy that NOTHING good comes from religion.<br />
I look at the world as it is today and the advancement of science seems to have done nothing to improve how we treat one another as human beings. I believe religion or spirituality if we want to play at semantics,has much to offer in the way of improving personal relationships if we would only practice some of the principals put forth.<br />
I don't like to take on the title of "Christian" because of the baggage it takes on from some of the people that call themselves Christian yet practice anything but what Christ had to say.I like to think of myself more as Christ-like. Needless to say I fall very short of the ideal and have no room to judge anyone,including those I have already mentioned. <br />
I also like to engage in these kind of discussions because I don't want inquiring minds like yours to think that all Christians have placed their minds on hold because we take certain things on faith. In AA they speak of a "God of your own understanding".I understand the idea, but I have to say that if there is a God,He is way beyond the capacity of my little pea brain to understand. But that really doesn't bother me. I guess because I'm a romantic and poet at heart and revel in mystery!<br />
Well, that's enough for an initial response. I hope you'll comment so we can start this discussion up again.<br />
May God bless you and if you can't accept that because you don't believe in God, may Einstien bless you!<br />
Peace

Yeah I do know of that experiment, although I was never aware that they had the option always available to leave. I was under the impression that they had signed up to take part for that period, and that in the end it had to be cut short after a journalist walked through and was appalled at the standards. The guards had become maniacal in their attempts to stop the ‘prisoners’ escaping, and the prisoners did try a few attempts (As I recall) to escape, which was one of the reasons the guards began to use the tactics they did. It was friends vs. friends in some regards, regular people put in that situation would likely react the same way, if they did not the mob mentality would exclude opposing opinions.<br />
There is a movie based on the event, in German as I recall (Could be Russian, what do I remember? I read the subtitles). You’re right in the end, our minds are wicked traps, do you ever feel like you are operating on the border of rationality? It’s a disturbing feeling, to think you are so precariously balances in-between logic and emotional instinct, and that a wrong step either way might plunge you into a massive wobble. Our minds are mighty fearsome tools indeed.<br />
You’ve reminded me of this prison experiment and I’m drawn to it again from a story-tellers perspective. I’ll have to look it up and see what there is to read and watch on it.

:) thanks for your thoughts Celainn, like I said before, you've given me some of the best answers to my ramblings. In a funny way, it does offend me that they expect me to burn, I cannot help that. Maybe I just wish they wished the best for me no matter what the universe, like I do for them (although my version of ‘the best’ is likely different to yours and theirs). I do doubt that it’s a matter of caring, although in your case probably not. I'm sure your friends do care enough to try and convert you...can I not have that same caring for the friends I believe are misleading themselves? I suppose myself and the religious people are the same in that regard. For me, the atheist argument is an attempt to do what little I can for the human condition. I feel that it has strength and that people can be happy without delusions, but perhaps I'm wrong...as wrong as the religious person that believes other people would be happy with their faith. Perhaps...perhaps there will always be people that need delusions to make sense of the world...some fundamental difference that gives them the ability to hold these beliefs without question. At the same time I wonder about that ‘peace’ you mention, especially when I wander through the religious stories occasionally, people always questioning, always confused at the motives of a being they have applied such magnificent characteristics to. Some people are genuinely upset for not knowing the ‘plan’ laid out for them or for feeling they have ‘sinned’, they harbour great fears and doubts…but that’s a generalisation, I’m no sociologist.<br />
Ah well, I know I was wrong to be so sharply tongued, but I can not guarantee I will not do the same again in future on an angry surge. I can say that I’m glad you told me off and began this exchange, your insight has proven very valuable to me and your articulate explanation of your outlook has given me a lot to ponder. Perhaps some people should be left to their own harmless devices, but even as I consider that I’m having random fundamentalist disasters like the Waco siege flash across my mind… and then I feel like growling because these people are so presumptuous and inflexible… but that rage might just be my youth, perhaps the world will teach me to leave well enough alone…for now I’m still dreaming of change.

Slowly approaching understanding. I think of all the people, you might be the only one who can provide a decent reason for religious belief Cellainn. Perhaps I was questioning the belief rather then the reason, actually I know I was. The difference is very fine indeed, I tend to attack the facts and look for a hole that glares out at me, that’s my approach to any theory or fact. It is hard to transform that analysis into a question of the origin of the fact/belief. when I simply want to know how the fact can hold so much weight. Non-religious examples of this in my ‘real life’ is long drawn conversations with people that cotton onto theories about the origin of life or aliens in out of space and then believe it with all their heart. One such debate I had with some-one close, this person argued that a TV show they had seen confirmed that life on earth came from algae most likely transported here by aliens, they argued with many references to a documentary I had never seen and supported their theory with anecdotal evidence they had amassed in conversation with a geologist. There was plenty to be interested in with their premise, and by thinking it through there are many possibilities that much of what he said was true, only he had decided that the fact as it was originally delivered had to be the only way of presenting it, while I was only going to give it credence if I could incorporate it into my fr<x>ame of reference by altering a few parts. Much like religious people, he fiercely argued that he was unable to remember the theory in its entirety, and I could accept that, what I could not accept was his unwillingness for me to mentally meld the theory into something I could imagine as a possibility. Was I wrong to do that? They definitely thought so, I left that feeling saddened and misunderstood. Are most people in the world happy to settle in one way of inflexible thinking if it provides emotional stability (Or some strange kind of stability)? Is it wrong to see the world as a flexible entity and to believe that others can still believe what they want, but also have available many alternate possibilities? Why is it so virtuous to hold such beliefs (In this case religion) close without question? Is it simply because it creates a sense of fulfilment?<br />
I’m sure I’ve had happy moments where I did not analyse why I felt this way, but those are moments, not lives lived in the service of something that may just be in my imagination. I consider my mood to be as joyous as my Christian friends, my outlook on life is only made more joyful through attempted understanding. Let alone the very warming factoid that one day these atoms that make me will travel through space and be in the stars. Life is a brilliant wondrous mix of many possible pasts, futures and presents. I am happy knowing this.<br />
I guess the question then becomes, ‘is it better to let well enough alone, even if that means sacrificing your chance of coming close to a true understanding? Is it enough to be happy, without questioning the basis of that happiness, or the effect that that basis has on the individual? Should I just let religious people assume hell for all but themselves…because it makes them happy? Should I let children become believers, because it makes their parents happy?... these questions come to mind thanks to you, and I do not yet know the answers, but I’ll keep on looking. I would never want to be religious however, it wouldn’t suit my temperament. I would have a broken will if I needed to bash it into place. Perhaps some people are born with a brain already geared to accept faith?<br />
Last note. The first blog I put on this site ‘god isn’t real, but what’s it like to believe?’, is an example of the fact that I too wonder what it is like for them to believe, amongst my question of basis of belief I also wonder how it affects other parts of the religious persons outlook. Some seem happy, others confused, some seem content, others militant. You may be jealous of their outlook, just as I am interested. On that same note, real life and death is really not that bad, when its put in perspective.

Don't mean to direct this at anyone except those who think I am going to hell. See you there because we are both here now. Shalom, Blessed be, Amen.

The father metaphor....ok. A father and child are driving down the road near a river. The father veers off of the road and the car tumbles into the river...the father can save himself, or save his child. He saves himself, not his child. DON'T GIVE ME that bullshit about JESUS dying for US. Jesus was God's son too. Now, really, if you know the bible then you know that there are very terrible things in it about families....like Cain and Abel for instance...God, he liked the blood sacrifice better (the literary "God" is a real evil sonofabitch) and didin't even try to intervene when Cain hit Abel with the rock and then shows up the next day, all innocent like, asking Cain where his brother was...<br />
Anyone who takes the bible literally is foolish, isn't that what Jesus told the Pharisees, that the book (torah) wasn't important, it was the intention in the human that made the difference, her-or his-sprirtual perception of life not clinical religious actions.

Okay, sorry I said ‘these people’ as if they were something else entirely from regular people. I was meaning these people in the regards of their beliefs. I agree that I should be respectful to all people, I think all people should be respectful to all people… don’t we all? No disagreement there. Although you and I might have different opinions as to what the word ‘respect’ entails. For me respect is giving someone the credit that they should be able to explain the world as they see it, amongst the usual kindness etc. It might just be something about me that expects a well thought out existence. I suppose not everyone is so scrupulous with their beliefs or the beliefs of others…it seems important to me, to understand why two people should see the world in such different ways. And sadly, it does often become a debate, wether because they came out of no-where (In the previous story in this experience, wrapped up a long time ago, a story where I had been regretful of my inquisitive inquiring in the end) to warn me that I would learn, and then to tell me that within their world as they see it, 90% of the worlds population would go to hell. No matter what you say about understanding and respecting, I really cannot bring myself to respect such a defeatist view of life! I wouldn’t respect her views if she said she came and said she wanted world-wide communism, politics is as much an outlook on life as religion, both should be held high and questioned on every angle. A stubborn political view is not a good thing for any society; I suspect the same of religion.<br />
You’re right, I did not respect them with my cynical sarcasm. Ridicule? It could easily be that as well. Even when I ridicule or take on a sarcastic tone I do with all seriousness. I mean every question I pose, I mean every opinion I give, at least in that moment anyway. Anger…Perhaps, Like I said, is it normal to be mad knowing that someone expects you to burn because of a twisted view of what this earth and us are here for? Or if not mad, extremely confused and bewildered as to how a race of such intelligence can result in these pockets of mental resistance. I am not angry, so much as sad and almost helpless for human kind. Is it inevitable that in our future we should always believe on the basis of flawed thinking? Can we not give science the respect it deserves for its legitimacy. <br />
How is it possible, with the advancements in science these days, that religions are given the free range to demand intelligent design or to even build a religious museum? The anger, please! What’s not to be angry about when religion surrounds us? Religion, sheesh, nothing good comes from it, nothing that can’t come from reality. And we would all be better off if people really queried why they believe what they do, beliefs shape actions. If beliefs are flawed, actions are likely to be influenced and not made in the interest of human advancement. If I’m angry about anything, it’s that believers are given so much respect for convincing themselves.<br />
I find it interesting you write angry in full capitals. But I hope that my explanation is adequate, Other people have far better reasons for being angry at religion, mine are petty and social reasons with a background of Anglican stupidity at my boarding school. I don’t have any wrong-doings done by me specifically, others do, nor do I have any huge grievances for the wrongdoings done by other religions. If I wanted to, I could provide you with a list, but I’m sure you have enough world experience to understand what I’m talking about. Does that answer why the anger?<br />
For me, religious debate is necessary; I do not think this is an example of angry fighting. I still feel quite calm, and I have provided countless other examples of religious questioning without being rowdy or ‘fighting’. This may have been a case of venting, but as I said, I do not take it back. So no, religious debate should not be avoided simply because we are afraid of a situation arising. I think religious questioning is crucial to help society in general to ponder their philosophies and why they hold them.<br />
Lastly, I am sorry you did not elaborate on what your past in questioning religion entailed. I am interested, as I said, I could still come to the same realisation you came to naturally, or I might never become sick of questioning beliefs, and might go on eternally trying to open peoples mind to self analysis. Or maybe someone will knock me to the floor because of my beliefs, and I will become too submissive to ask anyone anything. I’m sorry you have a background of angry fighting, I hope that you are never amongst it again, does this format even count as angry or fighting? I’m not sure, but I’m glad you are happy in your life. I am as well, happiest pondering things like religion and society, and questioning people on the same. I should not be so callous, perhaps, and I do try to hold those frank opinions back whenever they surface, take a few breaths and approach a comment like that from a purely analytical angle rather then mixing in my own judgements or bias. I didn’t do that here, but that’s as much a part of me as every other story, so I wear it.<br />
I’m tired today, my thoughts bounce in a funny way, but I hope I’ve strung together a good reply. Respond and question me! I am not closing my mind to the possibility of granting religiously minded people higher respect than the atheist Joe; I just want to know why. I’ve directly disagreed with a few things you said, and hope you’ll reply to those directly. We shouldn’t hurt people, I agree 100%, not in a callous personal way, but inadvertently hurting through hard questions…I’m not sold that it is not needed. Smokers needs to see startling campaigns before they get the message, drunk drivers might recall the most gruesome hurtful advertisement that stops them taking to the road…a religious person might read my sarcasm and get the underlying message. Question what we know, unless you’re truly happy with your lot, and even then you may still want to question.

I think the discussion is needed, will have to admit I wasn't in my most sunny of dispositions.<br />
It was not an actual exchange; they left all of their comment as one block in my previous story. I chose to reply block by block so I could keep my thoughts in order.<br />
I'll admit that I was too sharp this time, but I do not want to take it back. I encourage you, Celainn, to tell me why I should be so respectful to these people, why I shouldn't question their beliefs on the basis of my experience. <br />
Neither of us was trying to convince the other, so far as I know. I think RuMoR was trying to warn me that I am heading down a sinners path, and I am trying to question why that should be so, and thinking through RuMoR’s argument, and approaching it from many different angles. I enjoy doing this; perhaps I should watch my tone.<br />
So you used to debate religion Cellainn? Why and when did you stop? You know I am still young, perhaps I am yet to come to the same realisation as yourself. Would you have been accused of being sad and angry at that time? From what you say it sounds like you had some bad experiences when you did question religion, please, tell me why I should take a step back. Tell me why religion deserves that kind of respect. <br />
The acrimony (Thanks for widening my word-power, had to check that one to be sure as to its meaning) is definitely there, I apologise for my part. I did go off my nut a bit I suppose, as did RuMoR in their original comment. Is it a natural response to become aggressive when someone tells you that they expect you to burn in their afterlife? I don’t know, because most believers keep those thoughts to themselves. That’s one of the first times I’ve been told I’m likely to go to hell just because I question faith, If I am to respect their beliefs, I want to understand why they think I will burn, and then I am going to wonder how that kind of thinking affects the rest of us.<br />
I guess in some ways there is a sadistic fun in questioning beliefs, what greater thinking can there be then to ponder the universe as an easily summed up entity?<br />
Having said all of that in a weird kind of defence. I will admit my own offence at what you have said Celainn. You say that you used to question belief, but do not anymore, and it seems you hate us a little in that comment yourself. You ask if it was fun questioning beliefs, and then cite that as the reason for your not debating religion anymore. Because of the acrimony and hate…I don’t hate, how can I hate someone on the basis of belief alone? If that was the case I would hate a lot of people, do you hate me for questioning them? Do I make you sick because I have done that? I spend a lot of time on here, wondering if someone would give me a good reason not question the devout. Why should I bestow all that respect upon a flawed way of thinking about things? Why shouldn’t I seek out the truth in my own way of thinking about things? I welcome challenge to my thoughts.<br />
So please tell me about when you did question belief, and how that has led to your current opinion that closed mouths are better then open minds.