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I was born atheist, as everyone is.





nickfyoung
Isn't annoying when you follow a couple of pages of thread through to the end waiting to make a comment at the appropriate time only to find that it has been locked.

The title above was from a recent locked thread.

In response, I just wonder if it is completely accurate. The Bible teaches that some people were born as part of the elect and so were always going to be theist although, to be fair, it also teaches that all fell into sin until they were regenerated which technically I suppose could mean that they were atheist until then.

It also teaches that all men have no excuse because of nature proving that there is a creator. This of course has been debunked by science which has produced a rash of atheism.

In my own situation I grew up without any religious input from anywhere but still 'knew' that there was a god.
Afaceinthematrix
nickfyoung wrote:
In my own situation I grew up without any religious input from anywhere but still 'knew' that there was a god.


No. You grew up in a culture and world where the vast majority of people believe in a God and are either Christian or Muslim (except in a few select countries). Your parents may not have taken you to church but you were still exposed quite a bit to religion just by being a part of society. So you did have quite a bit of religious input and it isn't that hard to become something that most people in society are. If your parents had kept you completely isolated your entire life then you would almost certainly not have believed in a god because you would never have been introduced to the concept.
Ankhanu
nickfyoung wrote:
Isn't annoying when you follow a couple of pages of thread through to the end waiting to make a comment at the appropriate time only to find that it has been locked.

Moderator - Nick, you really shouldn’t be opening a new thread to continue discussing the contents of a thread that is locked:
Quote:

FriHost Forum Rules 2.g
- If your thread has been locked (or trashed or moved to the Spam Can) by a Moderator, you may not start a new thread on the same topic without first sending a PM to the Moderator in question and discussing with him/her the reasons for your thread being locked (or trashed).

With the number of times you’ve been advised to review the forum rules, I’d have thought you’d be intimately familiar with them by now.
That aside, I’m going to let this slide, as the thread was locked at the OP’s request, not due to problems with the content. Don’t do it again, however.

</Moderator>

nickfyoung wrote:
In response, I just wonder if it is completely accurate. The Bible teaches that some people were born as part of the elect and so were always going to be theist although, to be fair, it also teaches that all fell into sin until they were regenerated which technically I suppose could mean that they were atheist until then.

To be fair, the Bible only teaches this to certain sects who choose to believe that that's what the Bible is teaching them. Those are relatively recent sects in the scope of Christian history as well...
The Bible also clearly teaches that only Jews are God's elect, or chosen people, but I note that's frequently ignored these days.

nickfyoung wrote:
It also teaches that all men have no excuse because of nature proving that there is a creator.

Tautology is not proof... but it does certainly teach you to just believe and not seek evidence or proof. If the goal is simply to maintain a belief, I suppose this approach has some merit. I'm not sure it has much merit (no, I lie, I know it has almost none) when it comes to assessing truth, however.

nickfyoung wrote:
In my own situation I grew up without any religious input from anywhere but still 'knew' that there was a god.

Conviction ≠ Knowledge
Impression ≠ Knowledge
Feeling ≠ Knowledge
They can appear similar at times, but they're different concepts.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
In my own situation I grew up without any religious input from anywhere but still 'knew' that there was a god.


No. You grew up in a culture and world where the vast majority of people believe in a God and are either Christian or Muslim (except in a few select countries). Your parents may not have taken you to church but you were still exposed quite a bit to religion just by being a part of society. So you did have quite a bit of religious input and it isn't that hard to become something that most people in society are. If your parents had kept you completely isolated your entire life then you would almost certainly not have believed in a god because you would never have been introduced to the concept.

Can't help but wonder whether something is missing here. If this were true, where and when did God enter into the equation? I.e. there must have been a time in the world when people didn't believe in God. Or that's the logical assumption from your theory isn't it? Only man who has been subjected to the teaching of God can believe in God. So where did this teaching come from? If it hadn't been there before?
Pippo90
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
In my own situation I grew up without any religious input from anywhere but still 'knew' that there was a god.


No. You grew up in a culture and world where the vast majority of people believe in a God and are either Christian or Muslim (except in a few select countries). Your parents may not have taken you to church but you were still exposed quite a bit to religion just by being a part of society. So you did have quite a bit of religious input and it isn't that hard to become something that most people in society are. If your parents had kept you completely isolated your entire life then you would almost certainly not have believed in a god because you would never have been introduced to the concept.

Can't help but wonder whether something is missing here. If this were true, where and when did God enter into the equation? I.e. there must have been a time in the world when people didn't believe in God. Or that's the logical assumption from your theory isn't it? Only man who has been subjected to the teaching of God can believe in God. So where did this teaching come from? If it hadn't been there before?


Fear of the death, fear of the unknown?
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
Only man who has been subjected to the teaching of God can believe in God. So where did this teaching come from? If it hadn't been there before?
I imagine a form of population/group control perhaps?
I could see it working like this:
"I have a special message/vision from [insert spirit name] and all you people must now do [insert instructions] or terrible things will happen." Throw in a few hallucinogens in some 'sacred soup' or whatever, add another few thousand years of enough people telling others, plus the evolution of the tree/sky/star spirits or gods into new brands invented by others and I reckon you'd be pretty much good to go.

Modern day cults often involve drugs and an invented message or 'vision' by a perceived special leader, so it would be a much easier con-artist-mission to pull off in the less educated world of a few thousand years ago.
I'd say it could be an explanation why no miracles, as described in most religions, ever happen now we are able to test things with a bit more understanding than back then.
nickfyoung
Ankhanu
Quote:
Don’t do it again, however.


Sorry. Didn't realize I was against the rules.

Watersoul
Quote:
I'd say it could be an explanation why no miracles, as described in most religions, ever happen now we are able to test things with a bit more understanding than back then.


It could be said that one of the greatest miracles happening today is the regeneration or re-birth of man to 'born again' status. The complete transformation of character is in some case nothing short of a miracle. It does seem an aspect that has never been tested with your bit more of an understanding.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
It does seem an aspect that has never been tested with your bit more of an understanding.
I'll dismiss it until it does then Nick because your example is just a simple social construct.
Few thousand years and a god is struggling to keep up with educational developments in humankind, really?!
Nothing about that observation draws me any closer to believing in such things....but I keep an open mind for any unexpected developments in the miracle department.
nickfyoung
Did a quick Google and apparently miracles are happening every day in medical and other fields with lots of Google pages related to the topic. The Catholic church is still canonizing saints and rigorously researching the claimed miracles. I think it is three they have to have attributed to them before they can become a saint. There was a recent one here, saint Mary I think. Wiki says exorcism is considered a miracle which is the casting out of demons. I can attest to that but that wouldn't interest you.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
Did a quick Google and apparently miracles are happening every day in medical and other fields with lots of Google pages related to the topic. The Catholic church is still canonizing saints and rigorously researching the claimed miracles. I think it is three they have to have attributed to them before they can become a saint. There was a recent one here, saint Mary I think. Wiki says exorcism is considered a miracle which is the casting out of demons. I can attest to that but that wouldn't interest you.
Come on Nick, they aren't miracles in the sense we all understand, you know that.
Parting of the sea, feeding thousands from a couple of loaves n fishes etc, you know what I mean.
Even your own recent example of a guy with a poorly leg who got 'healed' at a church you were at was unimpressive. Present a re-grown amputated limb and I'll be drawn to believing such things but until then it's not miracle stuff as the world generally understands such claims.

*Edit* Why is your god not in Syria or Sudan helping the loads of starving and terrified people right now? Why are we relying on human provided services like The Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without borders) ???
I think your god is crap at helping people these days, in fact I would look him in the eye and call him/her/it a ****** if he actually existed.
Ankhanu
"Apparently" doesn't seem to mean "apparent", apparently...
nickfyoung
Watersoul
Quote:
Come on Nick, they aren't miracles in the sense we all understand, you know that.
Parting of the sea, feeding thousands from a couple of loaves n fishes etc, you know what I mean.


Ahh, you want Jesus type miracles. Jesus left the planet a couple thousand years ago so you can't expect too many of those now. He was God anyway so you would expect his miracles to be pretty spectacular. If you are hanging out for something like that you are going to be disappointed.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
Watersoul
Quote:
Come on Nick, they aren't miracles in the sense we all understand, you know that.
Parting of the sea, feeding thousands from a couple of loaves n fishes etc, you know what I mean.


Ahh, you want Jesus type miracles. Jesus left the planet a couple thousand years ago so you can't expect too many of those now. He was God anyway so you would expect his miracles to be pretty spectacular. If you are hanging out for something like that you are going to be disappointed.
Ah, so I've got to have blind faith these days then? Why does your god not just pull a magic trick out to convince people like me, can't be difficult if you are a 'god' - Or are we supposed to believe without anything impressive to convince us these days?
Why did he give the luxury of 'miracles' in Jesus times to uneducated folk but now expects a more mature society to just believe/have faith with zero evidence, or miracles?
Pretty crap planning in my opinion if I was in a management team trying to get people to believe in an invisible entity.
nickfyoung
Maybe you just aren't meant to believe. Most people aren't and the ones that are he uses methods to get them 'in' that seem to work OK. He did say that most wont make it. But you don't really want to be 'in' anyway so it doesn't seem to make much sense to keep knocking those that are. I can understand your non understanding of the issue and how frustrating it must be to look at a group of people, and a big group at that, and think how utterly silly they must be to believe such stuff. That is fairly normal of most atheist type thinkers.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
Maybe you just aren't meant to believe. Most people aren't and the ones that are he uses methods to get them 'in' that seem to work OK.
Where'd you get that nugget of information from? Bible or pastor/preacher?
Again, if I was part of the management team trying to convince people that invisible entities exist I'd be concerned with the new 'chosen few' rules you seem to be indicating now apply?
nickfyoung
The Bible does talk about the narrow gate and how only a few will find it compared to the broad path that many will take. Jesus used to say stuff like, 'only my sheep hear my voice' and 'I have only come for those that my Father gave to me'.

Going back to the miracles of Jesus, he found that it made no difference doing miracles and couldn't even do some in places where there was no faith and was even accused of doing them by the means of Satan.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
only my sheep hear my voice
It would take a miracle for me to be anyone's sheep. It's all too wishy-washy for me Nick, so in reference to your OP, I shall continue being one who holds no faith in gods (an atheist) until or unless this alleged entity can bring something more convincing to the table.
I won't hold my breath though Wink
SpaceInvader75
Quote:
It could be said that one of the greatest miracles happening today is the regeneration or re-birth of man to 'born again' status. The complete transformation of character is in some case nothing short of a miracle. It does seem an aspect that has never been tested with your bit more of an understanding.


It could be said, because there isn't any evidence for any miracles happening today, and "regeneration of man to born again status" seems to be another one of those things people accept without a shred of evidence...
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
In my own situation I grew up without any religious input from anywhere but still 'knew' that there was a god.


No. You grew up in a culture and world where the vast majority of people believe in a God and are either Christian or Muslim (except in a few select countries). Your parents may not have taken you to church but you were still exposed quite a bit to religion just by being a part of society. So you did have quite a bit of religious input and it isn't that hard to become something that most people in society are. If your parents had kept you completely isolated your entire life then you would almost certainly not have believed in a god because you would never have been introduced to the concept.

Can't help but wonder whether something is missing here. If this were true, where and when did God enter into the equation? I.e. there must have been a time in the world when people didn't believe in God. Or that's the logical assumption from your theory isn't it? Only man who has been subjected to the teaching of God can believe in God. So where did this teaching come from? If it hadn't been there before?


It was probably developed over many years in the same way that all culture (I am including religion in culture since it certainly is an important part of many cultures) and language are developed.

Even if I did accept your premise that for the idea of a god to exist, there has to be a god, then that would still only explain the god(s) of one religion (or group of religions). If we accept that the Abrahamaic god (Yahweh) exists and therefore the idea of Judaism ---> Christianity ---> Islam happened, then how would you explain the fact that there have been thousands of gods worshipped throughout human history? How did those gods come about? My claim is that no matter how those gods were developed, the idea of Yahweh was probably developed the same way.

It is similar with language. Languages evolve over many years and just like Rome wasn't built in a day, Latin wasn't developed in a day either.

There are personal differences between each person and one Japanese man is certainly different from another Japanese man but there will be many similarities between them because of centuries of culture that their country has. If I had grown up in a bubble and was never exposed to Japanese culture, I may, by chance, pick up two sticks and use them to eat my food but it is extremely unlikely that I would start drawing Pokemon and singing Karyoke (okay, I'm stereotyping and there are many other things about their culture). Similarly, if you've never been exposed to a god, you may develop vague ideas about how certain things came to be but you probably won't, on your own, develop the entire concept.
deanhills
I'm not talking about specific gods, for me there's just one God, rest is human interpretation. Right from the beginning of time there seems to be something in all of us that is directed at something that has to be bigger than us. Particularly when we know we're going to die some day and wondering how that works. Yes, there could be something "cultural" about it, but I'd say it's a mystery for which there is no perfect explanation. So yes, there are all these individual thoughts about how this is supposed to fit together, or doesn't fit together. Some say they know there is nothing, but can't prove it of course, and others are flogging their own versions of what they think it may be. Matter remains we're far from a perfect explanation, particularly when we are trying to use our reason only for figuring out the details. How could so many people have been so very wrong for so many centuries?
jajarvin
I to was born atheist, as everyone is.
But what has occurred after my birth?
I am not an atheist any more.
And that is a wonder.
SpaceInvader75
nickfyoung wrote:
Watersoul
Quote:
Come on Nick, they aren't miracles in the sense we all understand, you know that.
Parting of the sea, feeding thousands from a couple of loaves n fishes etc, you know what I mean.


Ahh, you want Jesus type miracles. Jesus left the planet a couple thousand years ago so you can't expect too many of those now. He was God anyway so you would expect his miracles to be pretty spectacular. If you are hanging out for something like that you are going to be disappointed.


So if Jesus could do miracles, I assume that means that God is capable of doing miracles. Although I don't claim to understand the Trinity, unless you are saying that God is not Omnipresent, I don't understand why he wouldn't be continuing to do such miracles, even though he supposedly decided to do them thousands of years ago. But what certainly makes sense is that they have never happened, which is why we do not witness them today (and why they are called "miracles").
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