An atheist who envies Theists

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dinosaur, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If I'm in a part of the country where "God bless" is a common reply I take it for what it is. If some stranger comes up to me and then starts to talk about "God loves you" I won't take it as heartfelt. I'll take it as proselytizing.

    I gave a ride to the store to some guy that lived in the same apartment complex that I lived in, years ago. When we got back, before I could get him out of my car, he started talking about "repaying" me with a prayer and then I had to sit there until he had finished the prayer before I could get him out of my car.

    I wasn't pleased.
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    True, a lot of people wouldn't understand what you were saying anyway.

    I have to confess (?) that as atheist I have used the term "Thank God " and even as the emotion was genuine, as atheist, the expression was duplicitous in content, which always left me feeling a little guilty afterward....

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    Now I just rationalized my use of the term as similar in meaning of Insurance policies, which still use the term "Acts of God" for Natural disasters (a very convenient term for an insurance co) and of course the dollar bill still shows the phrase "In God We Trust" (which I find most offensive because in a Capitalist system it is the Almighty Dollar we really trust in), unnless it is devalued and then I might exclaim "for Chrissake" which is not only duplicitous but also poor English......

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    Anyway, to me these are still expressions of emotional empathy, which literally have lost their true meaning, but have been handed down through the generations and are convenient to use.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That's fine. I am sure other people don't see "I love you" or "thank you" or "you're welcome" or "congratulations" as honest emotional expressions, either - and inspire similar levels of worry.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    May Santa bless you for this wonderful post.

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  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    And may the Holy Mother shine her light up into your home.
     
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  10. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    As opposed to being told to go to Hell? Or any other negativity? Perhaps it's easier to see that in ourselves, thereby making it more believable?
     
  11. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Well, I'd like "Go to Hell", far more than something like this:

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  12. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, that's pretty bad. Not quite a "God bless you," is it?
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    "God bless you" and "I hope that you'll get over your delusion one day" can be roughly equivalent.
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    The Qu'ran explains why . The problem is that this is punishing women for the baser instincts of men. How convenient. Can you imagine walking around in 120 degree day completely covered in black from head to toe?

    And being beaten if your ankle is showing? While the men are alllowed to dress completely in white to shield them from the sun ?

    Imagine yourself being a woman in a strict Muslim country. Can't drive, cannot take a taxi without a chaperone, cannot go to school, Being held responsible if you are raped? Can you imagine being forbidden to look at the undersides of birds flying overhead, lest you see their reproductive organs?

    Every year we have gaggles of migrating geese traveling north or south on their 2000 mile trips. An awesome sight to behold.

    In Catholic schools receiving demerits for asking questions about obvious contradictions in the Bible? Have you read the story of "loafs and fishes"? There are three accounts of this physically impossible feat, but you have to accept without question any version is being told to you as fact?

    Have you read the Book of Mormons, which is a true sci-fi story?

    It's all about control, compliance and unquestioned obeyance to the religion and it stifles curiosity, knowledge, and invention.

    I am not against any philosophy which teaches self-discipline and self-reliance, but, IMO. most all religions are shams. As Carlin said how is it that an Omnipotent being needs tithing and religions collect millions of tax free money? The Vatican is one of the richest institutions in the world. Why does a religion which teaches against excesses, is led by people dressed in gold and silver, whereas nuns need to marry Christ while lying on the floor in abolute submission? I know this is all methaporical, but the fact remains.

    There is a movie "The greatest story ever Told", Carlin observed that it actually is the "The greatest bullshit story ever told."

    The list of human debasement is endless, sprinkled here and there with a word of true wisdom.

    I like to be able to read all books of all kinds, without being branded as an apostate or as being possessed by demons. That's why I am an atheist. It allows me to inquire about the world, societies and scientific knowledge. My mind is not burdened by guilt instilled by others. My mind is mine and only mine.

    My behavior comes from secular self-imposed discipline based on the words of great philosephers and yes, from some of the moral truths contained in scripture, which are actually not specific to that religion but also can be found in almost all peaceful and thriving advancedsocieties.

    Get the Skeptics Annotated Bible, it will open your eyes so you can truly"see" and free your mind from stifling dogma. It's free to all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  15. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    There are many flavors to choose. I agree that religious dogma should not be imposed; however, the freedom to participate should not be refused. As for the Muslim women at work, as far as I know, there was nothing preventing them from removing their garb.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Not in any real sense. One is said as a benediction; the other as a snarky attack.
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    No, when someone say "God Bless You" to someone that they know isn't religious it's just a snarky attack as well.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. I say that on occasion; it's not a snarky attack on anyone, since I do not demand knowledge of someone's beliefs before saying things like that. I also say Merry Christmas even when the person might be atheist, or Muslim, or Hindu. And if they say "Happy Kwanzaa" back, that's fine with me.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see it that way.
    My worldview is secure enough that I don't require other people to acknowledge it. "God Bless You" says nothing about me. What it does say is that this person wishes me well in the way they see well. That's a good thing.

    Can you imagine walking past a Chinese marketplace, and having the merchant offer you his finest chicken feet?
    What would you think? "How dare he! I'm a beef man! He's attacking me with his belief in the goodness of chicken feet!"

    No. So why would it be different with a sneeze?
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    No one is discussing a "Bless you" after a sneeze.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I guess I assumed that. Under what other circumstances would one normally say God Bless You?

    On the tail of a thank you or a good-bye, I can see.

    But the same thing still applies.

    I'm not trying to argue or challenge, I'm just trying to understand why someone else expressing their good will toward one would be interpreted as snarky. Like the Chinese merchant, offering his favorite chicken feet. It's not his job to know what you like is it?

    (My son used to come over to our house around Christmas, and remark that all the Christmasy stuff (including a Nativity scene) made him uncomfortable. He insinuated he was being "forced" to condone these things. It seemed to me that all he was expressing was that he was not secure in his own convictions, and had to "take a stand". (Of course he was still feeling his oats.) When one is secure in one's own convictions, they do not balk at normal, social signs of differences with other people. Do they?)
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You seem intent on describing someone with differing views as either "insecure" or overly sensitive by using examples that clearly most people wouldn't have an issue with so therefore the cases that they speak of probably aren't as mundane as the examples that you bring up.

    I gave an example way up the thread somewhere, where I gave a ride to basically a stranger and then had to wait several minutes for him to get out of my car because he had to make a lengthy prayer to the Lord, blessing me, for giving him a ride.

    Another example, is where you go out to lunch at a casual fast food place, and someone has to interrupt the meal for a minute or so with a lengthy "blessing". Therefore everyone at the table has to not eat and sit in silence while someone else invokes his "ritual".

    These are not examples where one is in a part of the country where everyone is assumed to be religious. I was born in one of those places. These were places were most people aren't religious.

    Let's say you invited some people over for dinner at your house and most of them were religious but the one who insisted in speaking before dinner was a pagan or a strident atheist.

    If he gave a "blessing" to the devil or speaking of there being no god, I'm sure that you are secure enough in your "faith" that this wouldn't change things. So, that wouldn't be the issue would it be?

    It would just be a very rude and narcissistic thing for that person to do, push his views on others at an inappropriate place and in an inappropriate way.

    The only reason this sort of thing is an issue (in the U.S. at least) is that for so many years the religious point of view was all that anyone heard because any other view wasn't socially acceptable. Politicians still have to pretend to be Christians.

    Now it is more acceptable to a non-religious viewpoint to be heard. Many religious people don't like that and feel "offended" because they had it good for so long. There view was forced on everyone else. Now that's not the case.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  23. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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