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  1. #11
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    Was raised catholic but never believed in it.
    My parents aren't very catholic either it was just something they did. They don't go to church or anything now we are older, they have stopped pretending lol.

    I wish I could believe in something, I imagine it would be very comforting in dark moments. And I envy the community that religion creates.
    But I'm just too logical. It makes no sense to me.

    Ps the only priest I liked ended up being convicted for child sexual assaults. So go figure.

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  3. #12
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    You're brave OP! I totally steer away from religious debates :-)

    I am profoundly and regretfully atheist. I am super envious of those with religious beliefs. I have a phobia of dying that would cripple me if I didn't work very hard to keep it bay.

    I do say the Lord's Prayer on repeat when I'm about to fly though - from the moment the plane starts taxiing until the seatbelt light goes off. It's a compulsion and I have to do it.

    I also had a moment in a cathedral in Austria when I said a little 'prayer' because I was really struggling with the fact that I had agreed never to have children. It was something like 'if it's meant to happen, please let it'. I put no stock in it, it just meant I was able to let it go a little bit. Then, a little over a year later I became pregnant and no one could figure out how. That gave me cause to pause.

    I can get onboard with some kind of benevolent energy who watches over us, but I'm afraid nothing will ever make me believe that Hell exists. As I understand it, it's a package deal though...

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  5. #13
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    I'm an atheist. I wasn't raised in a religious family, although there were definitely cultural elements of Christianity in my upbringing.

    As a teenager, I would have been a bit like the guy you mentioned in your OP. These days I understand that it's more important to be respectful to others than to be 'right'. I love a religious debate, and don't for a moment believe that religious beliefs deserve any special respect or freedom from criticism. Individuals deserve respect though, and unless someone has willingly entered into a debate with me, I'm not going to go into it.

    To me, atheism is important, because it's the conclusion that is most logical/reasonable to me based on the available evidence...and evidence/observation of the universe around us is something that - to me - is critical to understanding and appreciating the amazing natural world.

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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    I find it funny when atheists try pull apart people's beliefs, they will never "get" it as they don't believe but there are many smart/clever/educated people in the world who do and you just can't pick apart someone's faith as faith isn't logical and atheists just don't get it

    I think religion is very personal which is why you will never "win" a religious debate or war for that matter as its just too powerful of a belief
    I tried to tell him the same thing. He either genuinely doesn't get it, or seems to believe that if he presents enough scientific evidence to address certain areas, people will automatically cave!

    Quote Originally Posted by harvs View Post
    You're brave OP! I totally steer away from religious debates :-)

    I can get onboard with some kind of benevolent energy who watches over us, but I'm afraid nothing will ever make me believe that Hell exists. As I understand it, it's a package deal though...
    Harvs, I debated with myself about posting for a week. Curiosity got the better of me. I am not intending for this to be a debate, but will immediately ask mods to close it if I think it's heading that way. So far people have been stating beliefs without going any further, so I'm happy so far!
    Re: second paragraph, does this mean technically you're an agnostic, as you can't definitely say that you don't think there isn't a higher power? I get where you're coming from. I think that I feel the same way. And I guess I sometimes "pray" for lack of a better word, in terms of sending out positive thoughts and thankfulness in relation to specific circumstances, but it's not really to a deity as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renn View Post
    As a teenager, I would have been a bit like the guy you mentioned in your OP. These days I understand that it's more important to be respectful to others than to be 'right'. I love a religious debate, and don't for a moment believe that religious beliefs deserve any special respect or freedom from criticism. Individuals deserve respect though, and unless someone has willingly entered into a debate with me, I'm not going to go into it.
    That's where I think he's falling down. He's not actually intending to be disrespectful, but if anyone *mentions* any aspect of any religion, he tends to go out of his way to refute it, regardless of the first person's intention. If they were actually intending to have a debate rather than just a commentary on their beliefs/a prayer/whatever/mention of a day of religious significance, it's a different story. He ends it with "whatever floats your boat," but that can sound condescending after these "discussions".

  8. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    I find it funny when atheists try pull apart people's beliefs, they will never "get" it as they don't believe but there are many smart/clever/educated people in the world who do and you just can't pick apart someone's faith as faith isn't logical and atheists just don't get it

    I used to be like that in my 20,s , studied all religions and had debates with people because I just never understood it but then you release religion is bigger than just facts and books

    I'm not religious ( technically Jewish and went to an Anglican school for 12 years) but I admire the faith a lot of religious people have ( no I don't always understand it and a Rabbi told me once I admire it because I don't have it ) I don't get Christianity at all ( especially Catholicism) but again I think it's because I look at it too analytically , I believe in a "g-d" ( not sure he fits an organised religion type though) and I do pray every night but it's more of a thankful prayer not a religious one and I love the Jewish traditions and bible stories

    I think religion is very personal which is why you will never "win" a religious debate or war for that matter as its just too powerful of a belief
    I think it's funny that religious people go out of their way to convert non-religious people, whether quite literally door to door (Mormons and JWs) or more subtely yet still totally condescendingly (looking at my catholic grandmother here, who "prays" for me). The idea that athesists need saving is why so many get defensive about religion (this isn't directly at you EM, just that your post got my train of thought moving).

    Your last point is spot on though. Religion is personal. And it should be kept that way. When it imposes on politics and government in a secular country like Australia, that's when it stops being personal. And when zealots attack innocent people in the name of relifon, it stops being personal. And when highly regarded members of the church abuse those who put their trust in them, it stops being personal. All these things make religion very public and that's why non-religious people get up in arms about it. I have zero issues with people who are religious. I have huge issues with religion due to the reasons I have given.

    Not intended as a debate, just a bit of perspective as to why some atheists can get a bit OTT (and I totally acknowledge many are OTT. It rarely has the same impact as OTT religious people though).

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  10. #16
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    I'm not religious at all. People have the right to believe in whatever they like however personally l think it's all a crock of sh!t.

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  12. #17
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    I was raised Christian, baptised and educated Catholic. Like a PP I felt like some imposter in mass and religion classes. Even as a young child, maybe 7 or 8 I thought this is ridiculous!

    I consider myself atheist, but like Harvs I actually wish there was something there as I'm terrified of death. I believe that's part of the reason religion was invented - to help explain death and help us deal with it.

    I'm actually not bothered by religious people in the least, unless they force their beliefs on others - and this includes fighting against same sex marriage. Denying two people in love the right of marriage bc *you* find it morally wrong is most certainly forcing your beliefs on others.

    And there are jerks in every demographic that exists. Unfortunately there are jerk Atheists out there

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  14. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxy View Post
    I think it's funny that religious people go out of their way to convert non-religious people, whether quite literally door to door (Mormons and JWs) or more subtely yet still totally condescendingly (looking at my catholic grandmother here, who "prays" for me). The idea that athesists need saving is why so many get defensive about religion (this isn't directly at you EM, just that your post got my train of thought moving).

    Your last point is spot on though. Religion is personal. And it should be kept that way. When it imposes on politics and government in a secular country like Australia, that's when it stops being personal. And when zealots attack innocent people in the name of relifon, it stops being personal. And when highly regarded members of the church abuse those who put their trust in them, it stops being personal. All these things make religion very public and that's why non-religious people get up in arms about it. I have zero issues with people who are religious. I have huge issues with religion due to the reasons I have given.

    Not intended as a debate, just a bit of perspective as to why some atheists can get a bit OTT (and I totally acknowledge many are OTT. It rarely has the same impact as OTT religious people though).
    Totally agree - I feel sorry for the cute American Mormons who door knock me cause if I have time I invite them
    In and ask them 1000 questions ( is it true you can't drink, is it true you have to convert certain amount of people, how do you handle that personally, how does your mum feel about it? how do you feel about other religions etc!) I ask as I am totally amazed at their dedication and I am honestly intrigued but obviously have no intention of converting , I used get them all the time but they don't seem to come around here any more! I've also found the best way to get rid of religious people trying to convert you is to say your Jewish, they never bother trying then but I think if you say your atheist they seem to enjoy the challenge and think you need saving

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  16. #19
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    @Moxy, I completely agree with everything you've said. Although, I can't blame religion per se for the people who choose to use it to justify horrible things, or because they abuse their power. I have a problem with people using religion to justify their hate/attacks/horridness. I have a problem with people claiming that the religious texts are the word of God, who deny that they were written by humans with an agenda (of whatever sort), and often not at the time of the events discussed, and then changed through interpretation.

    I don't have an issue with religious discussion, though I do have a problem with people trying to convert people who've shown no interest.

    I also agree that religion and government/politics should be kept separate.

    I also hate that people attack people and say it is in the name of their religion. Generally, most religions hold that you should be kind to each other (ignoring all of the stuff that then contradicts that in writings). I also pointed out to said friend's hubby that plenty of atrocities had been commited without any claim to a religious basis, he initially tried to deny it. He also denied that atheists could get OTT.

    Actually, there are a lot of issues I have. And I don't think I can articulate them half as well as you have. And quite probably some of the issues I have are due to lack of understanding or knowledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxy View Post
    I think it's funny that religious people go out of their way to convert non-religious people, whether quite literally door to door (Mormons and JWs) or more subtely yet still totally condescendingly (looking at my catholic grandmother here, who "prays" for me). The idea that athesists need saving is why so many get defensive about religion (this isn't directly at you EM, just that your post got my train of thought moving).
    I have noticed this too ^^ I have a family member who knows my beliefs all too well yet continues to try to force their beliefs on me on what they think is a covert way but it's extremely overt to me. Yet when atheists discuss their beliefs, even in a general way, the same people become angry and say those beliefs are being questioned.

    Having been raised and educated religious, then living my adult life on the other side of the fence there are huge double standards.

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