If you have no doubt about the lack of god, is there any harm in joining a religious community and cherry picking what is useful to you.
I personally have no belief that there is a god. I’m not saying that there isn’t a deity - BUT I have yet to have a theist convince me.
For myself, it would be “self-harm”. I value honesty and integrity. I couldn’t lie to myself or others by pretending to be a theist (religious community) and then cherry picking (obviously don’t observe all of god’s word)…that’s hypocritical.
How much time and energy have you spent contemplating the existence of mermaids and unicorns?
How about the Aztec deity of gluttony?
What objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity?
Start there…I can be both an atheist, and an agnostic, since atheism is simply the lack or absence of belief, and agnosticism is defined as a statement about knowledge, not belief.
Apart from the risk of financial and sexual exploitation, brainwashing, and mass-murder, no problem.
An atheist with enough brains and force of personality could probably end up leading a cult. I’m sure most of them are led by atheists. Anyone who actually believed in god couldn’t do the evil that religious leaders routinely commit.
See I’ve always seen religion, or religions, as a collection of ideas, beliefs, philosophies or mechanisms under one roof. I feel that it would be naïve to say that religion is entirely useless or bad. so as someone who doesn’t believe in god, or in my case someone who doesn’t believe a god with any intent, would it not be possible to see all religion as a grocery store with shelves of various items for which we could choose what we wanted to subscribe too and leave what we did not. In being free from pressures of a retaliatory god as atheists/ agnostics aren’t we the most free to choose our own beliefs.
In your experience what valuable ideas can you exclusively derive from religions, that are unavailable to secular reasoning?
Only in the sense that they are all unevidenced superstitions.
Who claimed this? You seem to be offering a straw man. Perhaps it would be better if you offered parts of religions you think are useful, and demonstrated objective evidence for the claim?
Is that how you view Harry Potter novels? Which parts of religions are you saying are useful, and in what way exactly? Though I’d be obliged to observe that religions generally contain pernicious ideas, so labelling religions as useful is a obviously a risky idea.
Of course, though I don’t just disbelieve in any deity of course, as a corollary I also find religions contain many pernicious ideas. Like theism demanding allegiance to a deity, even if that allegiance is pernicious to other sentient beings. It’s the reason I don’t just disbelieve in deities, but object to religions forcing their beliefs on others, as they are so often designed to do.
What we can learn from religion is not exclusive to what we don’t know. As what we can know is limited by the questions we ask. You cant become an atheist without the understanding of theism first.
However personally, growing up in a Christian community, I take great meaning from Jesus’ two golden rules ''Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Can you rephrase that with maybe less negatives?
Yes I try to find something of use in everything.
To be specific I try to approach all information that I come across and assess it for three things, what does/ can it teach me, is this something that apposes what I believe in, is this something I want to add to or can add to in a constructive way.
Any person on earth has this freedom (stupid word) BUT I choose to have confidence in things that are based in physical reality. Play with mind-candy? Sure. Live my life by it? Nope.
There’s always the harm done to my self respect and my sanity if you’re talking about actually attending a church. Why would I want to purposefully surround myself with people whose most fundamental core beliefs I find ludicrous and a lot of what they believe I think is harmful? Endless attempts to convert me would also prove tedious.
If you’re looking for friendships and community then find a charity to help out with. Seeking out groups that share my hobbies has also proven to be a good way to find a sense of community. I’ve come across some lovely groups of diverse people that way.
So what useful ideas have you discovered that are exclusive to religion(s)?
Sure, sorry that was badly phrased, what I meant was: in order to know whether we believe in something we must first assess the subject. And once we have assessed the subject we can form an opinion on it. You cant disagree with religion until you have explored religion up until that point you can only disagree with parts of religion, that’s why I personally disagree with atheism as until you can know their is no God you are only relying on your belief in your own ability to judge whether there is a god, as apposed to a fact. The only theological fact is that you can’t know if their is or isn’t a God because, by definition, the nature of God exists on a higher realm, to the human one.
Uh … not true. We are all born atheists. Parents, cultures and countries determine if (and more likely) you are raised with a magical thinking imaginary friend.
Again false. It is wise to not believe anything until the claim for the “belief” is evidenced (not just an assertion).
This is an assertion. What demonstrable evidence do you have for a)nature of god and b) it exists on some “higher realm”?
If you have no comprehension of what a god is then how can you claim not to believe in it. Atheist, person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods. If anything you’re born an Agnostic. Then society creates the illusion their is an answer to an unanswerable question. Some people choose religion because it is so entangled in society and culture it is impractical to leave and I don’t hold it against them, but many find a spiritual value in religion that is unparalleled on the outside.
I agree what evidence do you have that there is no god. How can you KNOW there is no god.
You feel deep down that there is no god, and religious people feel deep down that there is.
I however feel that there is no evidence to that I or any human has the ability to even answer the question of god or no god, so we cannot know.
Sir or madam,