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Anger, how to deal with it?
Posted: 06 November 2006 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“TAGautreau”][quote author=“jmisloski”]
  These are highly intelligent people who seem to have absolutely no rational or logical thoughts about science.  Everything they believe is based on religion.  At least one of these people insists the world is only 6,000 years old because the church says so. 

If this is true, I think you have to question how intelligent they actually are.  I do not use that word lightly, it comes with a lot of qualifications that need to be met.  I almost believe “religious intelligence” is an oxy-moronic statement.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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[quote author=“MichaelLewchuk”][quote author=“TAGautreau”][quote author=“jmisloski”]
  These are highly intelligent people who seem to have absolutely no rational or logical thoughts about science.  Everything they believe is based on religion.  At least one of these people insists the world is only 6,000 years old because the church says so. 

If this is true, I think you have to question how intelligent they actually are.  I do not use that word lightly, it comes with a lot of qualifications that need to be met.  I almost believe “religious intelligence” is an oxy-moronic statement.

I agree that “religious intelligence” is an oxymoron. What I meant was—these are computer programmers, which takes a bit of intelligence and the ability to comprehend logic. These people know how to think, they just don’t apply that ability to their regular lives, only their professional ones.

Maybe it’s because most of us were brainwashed into religion from birth. A child needs a parent, and feels insecure when the parent isn’t in charge. It gives [religious] adults a comfort to think a bigger power is in charge, and they’re not in control of life, or responsible for what goes wrong (or right, as I hear many people say “Thank you Jesus!” when, for instance, their favorite football team wins a big game).

Maybe the faith/non-faith thing is something you’re born with. I’ve always doubted. My parents never went to church; my grandparents never missed a Sunday service.

When I was a child, my parents sent me to church (Catholic) with my grandparents, enrolled me in Chatechism, and sent me to a private Catholic school in first grade. I didn’t last long in Chatechism, as on the first day I asked the Priest who Adam and Eve’s kids had married, and he said “people from another village” and I asked what village and where did these people come from, and he changed the subject and never answered me. I was five at the time, and never lost my skepticism of the whole biblical fantasy since then. Also, I begged to be sent to public school after first grade, as I found the nuns very disturbing. Thankfully, they agreed to!

I guess I don’t understand how anyone can be intelligent and religious all at the same time. But I know these are not stupid people, except for that pesky religion thing….

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Posted: 06 November 2006 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Hi Mike!
I appreciated the thoughts you shared regarding your anger at the wasted resources spent on religion including taking the time to try to persuade a believer in some god that it is not rational to believe in gods. I am thinking that what others do or say (which is all we can know about another person) has no power to create some feeling (or some thought) in us. Ever thought that? Ever considered and researched how “feelings” (emotions like anger, etc.) might be generated in your brain? Might you consider this - no word written (which is, of course, an “image”) or word spoken (a “sound”) is ever transmitted into your brain. This is an accurate statement as far as I know - which, of course, might not be “far” enough! When “light” is reflected from some object (such as a written word - these words you are reading now) and that light comes into contact with a neuron in your eye that is “specialized” to react when in contact with that light, what happens? I think it is accurate to state that whenever the appropriate “wave length” of light comes into contact with the appropriate neuron specialized to react to that light, a chemical action occurs - the same chemical action that occurs each time that light comes into contact with that neuron. Of course this chemical action initiates another chemical action in the adjacent part of the neuron and so forth and so on - this sequence of chemical actions continues until the “end” of the neuron in the brain (the neuron does not end in the eye but begins in the eye and ends within the brain). Some persons more knowledgeable in biology than myself might “confirm” (or might not!) the degree of accuracy of this description.  Please notice that these chemical actions that are occurring are NOT “images” of the words being read - they are just chemical actions. What does this have to do with your creating anger for yourself and learning how to manage that anger? Notice that since there are no words (images) transmitted by that neuron (only chemical actions),  then it follows, logically, I think, that it is not possible for any word read (seen) to generate any particular feeling (or thought) in your brain - that just doesn’t happen - actually. It is not what you read or see (or hear, for that matter) that generate those feelings of anger you are having. Quiet literally, you are creating those feelings for yourself - and I suspect you might not appreciate that statement! So if the words (or whatever you might see or hear) is not creating those feelings of anger, what is?

Based on what I know (which might not be the most accurate “knowing”), when a process called “perception” in the brain generates the images we see (including all these “words” being shared here), then that process in the brain called “thinking” uses various patterns of thinking (actually, various neural chemical-electrical “circuits”) we have created for ourselves to “interpret” (make “sense” of, generate our “understanding” of) the images (words, in this case) being seen (or sounds heard - but the sensory system of hearing involving our ears operates just a bit differently but still involves only chemical actions entering the brain - no “sounds”) and it is this “interpretation” using our learned patterns of thinking that results in whatever we feel (or think or do) at that very moment. The interpretation as well as the rest of this process is automatic and instantaneous in each and every moment (or nano second) of our lives as far as I know (and now you know that may not be “far” enough, dont you?). So, actually, if a person is feeling some emotion he or she does not like, he or she is, literally, creating that emotion for him or herself via the learned patterns of thinking he or she has generated for him or herself that are being used to interpret whatever images or sounds are being generatred by that person’s process of perception. Gee, I wonder what patterns of thinking you are creating for yourself while reading the thoughts just shared!

Therefore, if you don’t like the feelings of anger you are creating for yourself, then identify and change those patterns of thinking in your brain that are being used to generate those feelings for you. How to do that? Some techniques are shared at the Albert Ellis Institute web site - http://www.rebt.org - or you might search for “cognitive psychology” on the Internet and see what you might locate. Or you might email me or, I suppose, you might post a reply to this message if you generate some interest in yourself for learning how to stop creating those feelings of anger for yourself.

Also, someone else suggested you “relax” - certainly learning various techniques for physically relaxing your muscles so that when you sense yourself getting angry you can use that technique to relax your muscles, you might find such techniques of use - I am thinking “relaxed muscles” are incompatible with “feeling angry” so you can’t have both at the same time - search for “physical stress reduction” or “muscle relaxation techniques” on the Internet - if you generate any interest in doing so.


As for the Christian who posted a reply to your post, since the preponderance of “evidence” to date (see Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion or http://www.richarddawkins.net) indicates the existence of any gods (or other spirits) to be most unlikely, I suggest just referring the Christian to that book. From my perspective, even if such a god as described in the old and new “testaments” did exist, I would not wish to belive in him (or her or it) and certainly would have no desire to “worship”  him or she or it (actually I have no desire to worship any being, dead or alive, human or not). If there were some god who was omnipotent and omniscient (is that the accurate spelling?), I have no understanding why he or she or it would allow a tsunami to kill more than 250,000 persons (including children and animals other than human) or would allow the death and injury of thousands of persons (and animals) via tornadoes and hurricanes and volcanic eruptions and earthquakes - do you? Of course this is the same “god” who, per the story in that Christian bible, required the spilling of blood (the death) of an innocent person so that other persons might be “forgiven” of their sins - and according to that same bible, that was not the first time this god required (demanded, ordered) the death of both human and other organisms. I am thinking this spirit worshipped by those believers in Jesus is a very macarbe (spelling?) being - and I think that marcarbe being was created by persons with imaginations like Steven Spielberg except their creations were not presented as “entertainment” but were presented as “truth” (and as a means of controlling the “masses” - even trying to control the patterns of thinking of the masses - ask no questions about these words of god!).

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Posted: 06 November 2006 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Hi Mike!

I don’t know what occurred with the message I posted November 6 at 9:30 (presumably just before this one), but it was posted as “Guest” - I would swear I was logged in, but maybe I wasn’t.

Anyhow, and this may be duplicate information (assuming my signature block appears on this message), I, Al Steuart, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) posted that message.

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Posted: 07 November 2006 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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FaixaPreta & TAGautreau,

Thanks for your replies. Both of you rightly challenged my characterization of Harris and Dawkins works. I have to confess I’ve only read “Letter to a Christian Nation” and watched “The Root of All Evil” so I should refrain from too much commentary until I read more. I’m not even familiar enough with Dawkins to get his first name right so I appreciate the grace in both of your replies.

Thanks for helping me understand the significance of freeing the thinking process to an atheist/nontheist/humanist. I didn’t notice the emphasis until you pointed it out. I know how that must sound to you even as I write it. Thanks for tolerating my slowness. Michael’s response began to make much more sense to me as I read your responses.

TA,

I know I can’t apologize for something I didn’t personally participate in and I doubt that I can provide any comfort, and yet I hear the frustration your co-worker’s add to your work life. You shouldn’t have to endure that. It’s not right.

I admire your response to your co-workers. Keep them honest. Keep them busy defending their bibles. They should know them better than you so don’t let them get by with weak answers. You’re right, they are not exposing themselves to much scientific thinking. You are in a good position to change that. Pick a book you think would be good for them to read and give them a challenge. You’re reading “their” book and it only seems right that if they want to talk to you about these issues they should be required to read one of “your” books. If they aren’t willing to think and learn then they shouldn’t be allowed to talk. You have every right to tell them to shut up and leave you alone. And if we’re going to talk about intellectual honesty, nobody should be using an employer’s time to promote or discuss their personal belief system unless it is part of their job description. I don’t see how any of them could defend that with a bible.

Thank you both for exposing the way you think. It’s refreshing for me just to hear your thoughts. It helps me distill my own thoughts and my own beliefs.

I have a question regarding the role of non-theistic religions in an atheist’s life. Sam Harris draws from Buddhism and other similar beliefs. Is that common for a non-theist? Do you think atheism falls into the category of a religion? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

It doesn’t seem like anyone is really offended by any of the “isms.” I like the term you prefer TA - Humanist. I think it represents what an atheist/nontheist/humanist believes better than the word “atheist.” Is it ok if I use “humanism” or “humanist” instead of “atheism” or “atheist” when I need a word to represent your worldview?

Thanks for jumping into the discussion.

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Posted: 07 November 2006 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[ jmisloski wrote:

These are highly intelligent people who seem to have absolutely no rational or logical thoughts about science. Everything they believe is based on religion. At least one of these people insists the world is only 6,000 years old because the church says so. ]


The above quote from “Letter to a Christian Nation” appeared in one of TA’s messages tagged with my name. I looks like a technical glitch but I’m not sure.  Just to clear any confusion, I didn’t post this quote.

If you want me to respond to it as a follower of Jesus I’d be glad to but this thread is about dealing with anger and I don’t want to sidetrack the discussion (although I think I may have already done that to some degree…) So if I need to take my questions to a different thread or start a new one let me know.  I don’t want to add to the anger, just understand it.

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Posted: 07 November 2006 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“jmisloski”]
I admire your response to your co-workers. Keep them honest. Keep them busy defending their bibles. They should know them better than you so don’t let them get by with weak answers.


Well, I’ve never yet found a Christian who knows the bible better than me. I think most Christians know the parts of the bible their ministers choose for sermons, but don’t really read the rest of it—it’s more like they cherry-pick the parts they choose.  For instance, it seems that only non-Christians are aware that Jesus rebuked those who pray in public, and told his followers that prayer should be kept private, in their homes.

[quote author=“jmisloski”]
If they aren’t willing to think and learn then they shouldn’t be allowed to talk. You have every right to tell them to shut up and leave you alone. And if we’re going to talk about intellectual honesty, nobody should be using an employer’s time to promote or discuss their personal belief system unless it is part of their job description. I don’t see how any of them could defend that with a bible.


Actually, they don’t really promote their beliefs in the workplace, it’s more a matter of constant references to God, Jesus and their faith that is so intrinsic to them they can’t not mention it.  For instance, one of them has a spouse who had to have scary medical tests, and when discussing this with us kept saying that whatever happened it is God’s will and they will accept it as such and keep praying for God to help them through it.  That sort of thing is constantly around me at work.  They’re not proselytizing, and they’re not “digging” at me, it’s just a part of who they are.  When I told one of the Baptists that I’ve read the bible and as far as I can see I’m nicer than god, it was as if I’d just murdered a baby.  It’s strange to me that NOT believing in supernatural invisible beings from another dimension is what’s considered odd/weird/strange in this world!

[quote author=“jmisloski”]
I have a question regarding the role of non-theistic religions in an atheist’s life. Sam Harris draws from Buddhism and other similar beliefs. Is that common for a non-theist? Do you think atheism falls into the category of a religion? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

It doesn’t seem like anyone is really offended by any of the “isms.” I like the term you prefer TA - Humanist. I think it represents what an atheist/nontheist/humanist believes better than the word “atheist.” Is it ok if I use “humanism” or “humanist” instead of “atheism” or “atheist” when I need a word to represent your worldview?

I suppose Buddhism is considered a (non-deistic) religion, though I think of it as more of a lifestyle.  To be honest, I haven’t studied Buddhism as much as I have the Abrahamic religions.  It’s not a worship religion, it’s about self-improvement through your interactions with others. In that way, it’s a more humanist approach to life and more in line with the way that non-theists live.

I don’t think atheism falls into the category of religion, no.  It’s a belief system of sorts, in that it’s a belief that gods do not exist.  However, there’s no creed or set of tenets that atheists follow, no book or weekly gathering place.  They just live in the here and now, don’t believe in an afterlife, and usually consider all organized religions harmful, especially the Abrahamic and other deistic ones.

Humanist isn’t my term (see http://www.americanhumanist.org). We all feel a need to stick everyone in slots, don’t we?  If we can’t label it, it makes us uncomfortable.  And sometimes, when we label it, it’s even worse.  When I first started dating my husband, he would cringe every time I said the word “atheist”—it made him uncomfortable in ways he couldn’t even express.  Now, he accepts it and understands it, and doesn’t flinch when I say it.  But that took a long time for him, as that’s always been a negative word in his world. 

Humanist doesn’t have the negative connotation that Atheist has for most people.  I find that if I say I’m a Humanist, people will ask questions (nicely) about my beliefs.  If I say I’m an Atheist, people will back away from me quickly (expecting a lightning strike???) and not ask me anything.  That’s a generalism, by the way—there have been several people who actually looked very interested and asked me lots of questions about why I’m an Atheist.

Anyway, whichever term I use depends on the person I’m talking to and the situation.  If, for whatever reason, I’m feeling combative and especially disgusted with religion, I’ll use the term Atheist instead of Humanist.  Atheist = stark, blunt.  Humanist = soft, kind.  At least, that’s the reactions I’ve had to those two words…

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Posted: 09 November 2006 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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TA,

Thanks for the link. That was helpful.

It is discouraging when it seems we need to put people into slots. I don’t believe it ever starts out to be hurtful. Initially, it is a part of establishing a dialog. We need shorthand so our conversations aren’t terribly long and redundant.

When people are talking to each other it works well. It goes bad when people who have one “label” start talking to each other about the people with the other “label” without including them in the dialog.

That’s when we start using “labels” to turn people into things. Once you turn a person into a thing you can say and do things you should never do to people. I sense that both of us are discouraged by this.

All of us do this to our detriment. Atheists/humanists/nontheists talk about christians/religionists/deists but not to them. Christians/religionists/deists talk about atheists/humanists/nontheists but not to them. Neither one of them have a real understanding for the other’s point of view because when they do actually talk to each other it is only to win an argument - not to seek understandng. Each of them artificially elevate themselves above the other and fails to behave as equals.

It is what discourages me the most. Would you agree that those who consider themselves atheist/humanist/nontheist do it just as much as those who consider themselves christian/religious/deistic? Push back if you disagree.

Their really is no hope until someone takes the initiative to suspend thier own opinion and humble themselves long enough to really understand and appreciate someone who is just like them in most ways but happens hold different opinions.

I’m a follower of Jesus and serve as the pastor of a church that is associated with the southern baptist convention. Having said that many will assume all kinds of things about me - many of them accurate, many of them distorted and many of them false. But they’ll never know which of their beliefs are accurate until they sit with me as a friend and explore them.

I’ve been meeting for a year and a half with the couselor to the bishop of a Mormon church in my city. Every week we get together and explore our differences and similarities. You may be thinking, “Dude, you both believe exactly the same thing or you believe very similar things.” You would be partially mistaken if you believe that. In fact, southern baptists have been railing against Mormons for decades. They write long books on the evils of Mormonism. Ex-mormons who are now professing christians write books about the evils of mormonism. All I can expect from those is arguments against Mormonism. Humans tend to distort to make thier point. I would be a fool to trust all that is claimed as fact in those books. My neighbor/mormon/friend and I agreed to read each other’s “holy books” and talk about them. It’s been a great exchange and even though neither of us is converting we have become good friends and I have become much more informed. I am much closer to the truth because of it.

I would encourage those in this thread with anger issues to do the same with a follower of Jesus or a follower of some other supernatural being. It’s really healthy. It’s very intellectual. It’s been great to hear your thoughts TA. You have already expanded my understanding. Thank you for being friendly.

jim

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Posted: 09 November 2006 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“j misloski”]Their really is no hope until someone takes the initiative to suspend thier own opinion and humble themselves long enough to really understand and appreciate someone who is just like them in most ways but happens hold different opinions.

I would encourage those in this thread with anger issues to do the same with a follower of Jesus or a follower of some other supernatural being. It’s really healthy. It’s very intellectual. It’s been great to hear your thoughts TA. You have already expanded my understanding. Thank you for being friendly.

I tried for many weeks to carry on a civil conversation with certified bible-toting believer. I talked about the meanings that I gleaned from reading scripture, and urged him to take an interest in science, and to tell me what he thought about the evidence supporting the theory of evolution. Predictably, the conversation remained one-sided. I never did get to talk science with him.

I concluded that it was a good idea if he just talked religion with his fellow believers and just left me out of it. As an alternative to getting angry, of course. I left it up to him.

The missing pieces of your attitude become sharply visible here, in an asymmetry that no one can miss.

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Posted: 09 November 2006 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“j misloski”]

I’m a follower of Jesus and serve as the pastor of a church that is associated with the southern baptist convention. Having said that many will assume all kinds of things about me - many of them accurate, many of them distorted and many of them false. But they’ll never know which of their beliefs are accurate until they sit with me as a friend and explore them.

Why do you say assume?  It is not that we assume that we know about you, we do know about you because you are declaring yourself to be a follower of Christ…a description that is very encompassing, and if you truly are a follower of Christ, it is very easy to determine what your views are.  One of two things has to be possible for us to not be able to categorically judge who you are: 1.  You are lying about being a follower of christ (which seems pointless), 2.  You have diluted yourself into believing you follow christ, but do not adhere to the teachings of the bible (unlikely, but possible).  Being a follower of christ is different than being atheist in that it describes your worldview from the outset, you live as christ commanded.  Being an atheist means relying on one premise only, a lack of belief in God.

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Posted: 09 November 2006 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“j misloski”]
All of us do this to our detriment. Atheists/humanists/nontheists talk about christians/religionists/deists but not to them. Christians/religionists/deists talk about atheists/humanists/nontheists but not to them. Neither one of them have a real understanding for the other’s point of view because when they do actually talk to each other it is only to win an argument - not to seek understandng. Each of them artificially elevate themselves above the other and fails to behave as equals.

It is what discourages me the most. Would you agree that those who consider themselves atheist/humanist/nontheist do it just as much as those who consider themselves christian/religious/deistic? Push back if you disagree.

Actually, I don’t agree with that.  The problem with that viewpoint is that by the time someone knows they’re an Atheist, they’ve learned so much about religion they DO have a real understanding for the christian/religionist/deistic point of view.  Most Americans start out Christians, becaue it’s so prevalent in this society.  It’s what we’re taught from birth.  We become Atheist after a usually long period of study, reflection and thought.  I don’t know that I’ve encountered an Atheist who became that way suddenly, or has always been that way.  I’m sure there are some, but I don’t know them.  It’s a long lonely path from Christian to Atheist.  It’s also a lonely place when you reach it.

I know all about the Christian perspective.  Christians, however, do not know (or want to know, for the most part) about my perspective.  It might shake their faith, or make them realize they’ve been wrong all these years.  You can’t converse with people who don’t want to hear you.  They want to talk to you, certainly.  They just don’t want to listen to you. 

[quote author=“j misloski”]
Their really is no hope until someone takes the initiative to suspend thier own opinion and humble themselves long enough to really understand and appreciate someone who is just like them in most ways but happens hold different opinions.

Since the beginning of my search for understanding and peace within myself (which was finally achieved when I understood that religion is not for me, and I don’t believe in any of it), I’ve always been accepting and understanding of religious faith in others.  I know it comforts those who believe.  But lately I see that even the little bit of acceptance of religion around me only encourages the attitude that I’m wrong, and they’re right.  It gives ground to religion as being an OK thing to go around spouting at people, and an OK thing to incorporate into community laws.  It isn’t OK, and I’m tired of everyone thinking it is…

[quote author=“j misloski”]
I’ve been meeting for a year and a half with the couselor to the bishop of a Mormon church in my city. Every week we get together and explore our differences and similarities. You may be thinking, “Dude, you both believe exactly the same thing or you believe very similar things.” You would be partially mistaken if you believe that.

No, most Atheists would never think that you both believe the same or similar things.  We’ve studied religions in ways most Christians never have.  It’s a very large part of how we got where we are. World Religions and Theology are very important to our understanding of ourselves and others.  It is still a vital part of my world, as I seek to find a way to cure mankind of what I consider a harmful way of thinking.

[quote author=“j misloski”]
Thank you for being friendly.

Thank you, also.  I’m sure you’re finding it unexpected to see that Atheists are kind people (my favorite T-shirt says “Friendly Neighborhood Atheist” on it).  We believe we only have this life to live, so we try to be nice to everyone while we’re in it. 

Having said that, I also have to admit that anger and depression over the religious right’s increasing power in our goverment is causing some of us to not be so nice, sometimes :cry:

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Posted: 09 November 2006 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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That last comment was from me, T A Gautreau ... didn’t realize I wasn’t logged in!

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Posted: 10 November 2006 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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saltcreek wrote:
The missing pieces of your attitude become sharply visible here, in an asymmetry that no one can miss.

I think there is something you thought would be visible/obvious to me that isn’t. I would appreciate if you would be willing to reflect for me what’s missing in my attitude. And I mean that sincerely. I am well aware that my perspective is biased, flawed and incomplete. I wouldn’t be hanging out here if I thought I had it all figured out. So if you’re willing to take the time I would love to know what you mean.

I have never stated that all christians are ready and willing for an open, honest dialog. Wouldn’t that be nice… I believe most of us are still operating out of too much fear for that. And yet I’m open. So don’t give up yet. Try me if you’re interested.

jmisloski

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Posted: 10 November 2006 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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[quote author=“j misloski”]I have never stated that all christians are ready and willing for an open, honest dialog. Wouldn’t that be nice… I believe most of us are still operating out of too much fear for that. And yet I’m open. So don’t give up yet. Try me if you’re interested.

jmisloski

What is the meaning of “open, honest dialog” from your perspective, jmisloski? If it means my listening to the same old dogmatic text of an absolute meaning of existence or an absolute source of morality, and not being able to say honestly that I think it’s full of crap, simply because I might hurt your feelings, or that of any other believer, then it’s not an honest dialog, is it?

If a believer actually, honestly begins to entertain a scientific approach to understanding (even incompletely) matters of existence and truth, I do not think there is much chance he will persist with the religious underpinnings. There are notable exceptions among the ranks of accomplished scientists, but they are asserting the absolute truth of matters for which there is no scientific basis in understanding.

Science books are open, too. Read some of them. I can quote scripture to you if it would make you feel better, but I need a context. Simply making nice soothing noises at one another is great for preventing anxiety and indigestion, but does not go far in creating open, honest dialog. Science is intrinsically open, religion intrinsically closed.

Here is what I quoted again, with some emphasis:

[quote author=“j misloski”]Their really is no hope until someone takes the initiative to suspend thier own opinion and humble themselves long enough to really understand and appreciate someone who is just like them in most ways but happens hold different opinions.

I would encourage those in this thread with anger issues to do the same with a follower of Jesus or a follower of some other supernatural being. It’s really healthy. It’s very intellectual. It’s been great to hear your thoughts TA. You have already expanded my understanding. Thank you for being friendly.

No hope? Until? You said this, not I. This requires me to make a long journey indeed. Humility is fine, but I was just pointing out the lack of humility inherent in asserting absolute truths.

If it makes someone happy to recite his untouchable beliefs to me, I can listen only so long before it begins to sound like evangelism.

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INVEST in cynicism!

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Posted: 10 November 2006 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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I can understand your anger. Im the only Atheist in my work place as well. I prefer the lable Naturalist myself. But anyways being really angery at them wont help to much. Take that anger and read, read, read. And when you are confrunted by someone of Faith you can always “counter attack”, granted it is pritty easy, because they are flat wrong. I find the best way to shoot down any argument with a Christian or a Muslim is this. Ask them if they think Thor, or Mars is real. I have gotten two types of answers.

1. “Well yes im sure their can be other gods with my god.” WOW shocking! I find that funny they can say that, but yet in their own “holy book” it says other wise. I will always reply with “Well your bible says ‘their is no other god before me’, so as I can see you dont know your own bible?” Then the choke up! This is the trap! They go to the second answer.

2. The could of said this from the get go. Becareful if they do, they are the hard core ones. If they say the first answer above they are not really sure about their own faith, they are the “easy” ones. “Well No my God is the only god.” Now here comes the sword strike to the back of the neck. You calmly say “Well then how can your God be real, but also Allah or THor, or Mars? So with all these other gods clearly shows that gods are the imagination of Men, not the other way around.” Check mate.

Oh and they really hate it when you quote the bible, THEY HATE IT! So happy hunting!

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